If the allegations in the 145-page complaint are true, I hope that the recently filed class action against for-profit on-line graduate schools, Walden University and Laureate Education, Inc. shuts these
scams schools down for good.
Distilled to its essence, the class action complaint alleges that the schools claim to sell graduate school educations and doctoral degrees at a stated estimated price, achievable over a stated amount of time. Then, the schools string people on for years, causing students to incur hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, and about half of the students (or maybe more?) leave the program before graduating or getting any degree.
These schools smell like more foul and fetid swamps that branch off from, and feed off, of the frothy torrent of our free-market economy (like Trump University, of course). Defenders of the schools will likely invoke the “caveat scholar” doctrine.
The challenge for the plaintiffs, I predict, will be that the defendants will seek to distinguish each and every complaining student’s gripes, arguing that individualized facts overwhelm any class-wide issues, rendering the lawsuit unfit for class action status. (When plaintiffs have individual damages in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, would it be possible to bring the cases individually? Or would it be better to consolidate them? I look forward to following the lawsuit, which is pending before Sr. U.S. District Court Judge David S. Doty (D. Minn.).