Unemployed Grads Suing Schools for Tuition Refund and Job Search Stress

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Degrees, some costing $200,000, are not necessarily leading to jobs. Dissatisfied, those former students are requesting a refund or filing lawsuits.

At Boston College Law School, for example, recently a student in his third year sensed there won't be a job out there if and when he completes the JD. As Elie Mystal reports on Abovethelaw.com, the young man asked Dean George Brown for return of two and a half years of tuition. There's more. He's so convinced about the dismal job market for lawyers that he offered to leave the program before completion, as long as Brown returns his tuition. Fat chance, most legal experts contend. By attending law school, you purchase an education that trains you to think in a certain way. You don't purchase a guarantee of a job.

Last year, enraged that she didn't get employment after graduating from Monroe College, Trina Thompson sued for the $70,000 in tuition. Added to that, she demanded another $2,000 for the stress of job search. Legal experts I've spoken to view her strongest argument to be based on breach of contract. Was there implied a promise of employment? Monroe College might be in the hot seat since its marketing materials emphasize the programs as focused on career training. Had Thompson attended a for-profit college or university, her case would have been even stronger since they operate like businesses.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, there is 9 percent joblessness among college graduates ages 16 through 24. This is the highest rate in a quarter of a century. Therefore, you might see a lucrative niche emerging in individual and class-action lawsuits by graduates who contend that in a number of ways, the institution of higher learning promised employment.


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