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Can a college student take legal action if a college changes policy on obtaining a double major?

Rockville, MD |
Filed under: Education law

My son enrolled in a community college in January 2011 working to meet the requirements for 2 majors with 60 credits as shown by transcripts . He has met the requirements for both . However Summer 2012 , the school revised the policy stating that in order to obtain a second degree a student must now take 15 ( random ? ) additional credits even though all the requirements have been met . We weren't made aware of the new policy until he applied for graduation as he approached his last semester . The registrar of the school said she made an appeal to the Academic Regulation Board for him and they denied his appeal . It would seem to me that students already enrolled and declared double majors before the new policy should be grandfathered under the old policy .

Attorney Answers 1


The school could have provided for grandfathering, but it is doubtful that is legally required. It's an issue of contract law. Check your admission and enrollment materials for each term in which your son was admitted. These, along with the school's rules and regs at the time of admission, are your contract. In most cases, the school has expressly reserved the right to make changes in degree requirements and class offerings. Where that right has been reserved to the school in its sole discretion, that is likely to be a valid contract provision. But it would have been courteous and high-minded to allow mid-course students to complete under the original terms. You can try an appeal to the school's executive staff.

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