Is there anything I can do to get money back from a college that lied about accreditation?

I attended Gibbs College in Livingston from 2004-2005. When I enrolled I was told the school was Middle States Accredited and my credits would transfer anywhere, and they had statistics about their lifetime job placement service that were all lies. In October 2012 I applied for a state substitute teaching certificate, and was denied because the college isn't an accredited school. This makes the degree I received absolutely useless. I started paying my student loan through Sallie Mae in 2006, and have paid around $20,000 so far, and I'm scheduled to pay close to $500 a month for the next 10 years. Is there anything I can do about this. Any help would be greatly appreciated

Old Bridge, NJ -

Attorney Answers (2)

Jonathan Seth Corchnoy

Jonathan Seth Corchnoy

Education Law Attorney - Philadelphia, PA
Answered

If you can prove that they deceived you, then arguably you could bring an action for breach of contract and/or fraud. However, In light of the fact that you last attended there over 7 years ago, the statute of limitations would probably bar any such lawsuit. There are exceptions and you may wish to speak with a contract/litigation attorney to investigate any claim you have.

You should also check to see if there is anything you can do to meet the requirements for the certification you seek. You have an obligation to try to mitigate your injury/damages if it is at all possible.

Michael T Millar

Michael T Millar

Litigation Lawyer - Toms River, NJ
Answered

If they made misrepresentations concerning accreditation and job placement, they may have violated the NJ Consumer Fraud Act.

There is unpublished case from 2012 - Suarez v Eastern International College - which held that a school that misrepresented its accreditation might be liable for consumer fraud.

There is also a recent - 2013 - decision by the NJ District Court holding that a class action against a law school in Delaware (Widener) could proceed on consumer fraud claims because the school had, among other things, misrepresented job placement statistics.

You would have six years from when you first learned of the misrepresentation to file suit.

Note that attorneys typically do not take these types of cases on "straight" contingency and most will likely require a retainer and contributions towards costs since the school has deep pockets and it will likely be a protected, expensive process.

If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education... more

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