Can I sue a public university for breach of contract, misrepresentation, poor quality of education and discrimination?

I was told by the Office of Financial Aid that I had graduate status even thought I was still working on my undergraduate degree in order to fulfill a math requirement . Because the quality of the education in the math department was so extremely poor , i ended up having to drop each math course i enrolled in , i eventually had to take the math requirement at a different university and have those credits transferred to graduate . The Office of Financial Aid confirmed with me several times over the phone and via email that I had graduate status and offered me awards as a graduate , which I signed for . They later sent back my award for the final semester back to the lender and charged me . I am now in debt with the school because of their misrepresentation of the loan and poor quality of ed . .

Joplin, MO -

Attorney Answers (2)

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Administrative Law Lawyer - Pasadena, CA
Answered

There have been a few successful cases for "educational malpractice" in the last few years, but those have largely rested on Constitutional claims applicable to fundamental rights of children and minors. These facts are wholly unlikely to support Constitutional claims.

This is more likely conceptualized as an action based on contract. Take a look at your contract with the school -- ie., your admission and enrollment materials for all terms in which you enrolled, along with the school's published materials such as the rules and regs in the student handbook. Very unlikely that there are grounds spelled out in those documents that enable a claim on the grounds you contemplate. More likely the contract documents set forth disclaimers and express limitations of your rights and the school's obligations.

In all events, you may have some potential claims for the financial aid problems, if you have anything here. Your contention that you "had" to incur losses because the quality of a math class was so very bad is highly dubious and likely incapable of proof of causation by admissible evidence.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice.... more
Frederick M. Stanczak

Frederick M. Stanczak

Education Law Attorney - Doylestown, PA
Answered

I agree that any claim that you may have would be based on the written agreements for financial aid and your agreement with the university. You said that you obtained the necessary math credit from another univesity. Assuming that all other requirements for graduation were complete, it is not clear why the public university didn't confer graduate status on you. If you can show that you met the reuirements for graduation but the university failed to confer graduate status, that would likely be a claim that can be pursued in the courts. Having said that, you may be better served by pursuing any internal complaint resolution process that the university has established. If you can convince an internal review comittee that you are right, that may be a faster and much cneaper alterntive to litigation. I agree with Ms.McCall that the quality of the math class at the public university is not something that you can litigate. You may benefit from a consultation with an attorney experiened in education law.

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