03 Feb Can Private Schools or Colleges Be Liable for Breach of Contract or Misrepresentation?
Pursuing a college education is an expensive endeavor, and one that many individuals deemed highly necessary in today’s tech economy. Between rising tuition fees, room and board costs, textbooks, and other expenses, college can be financially daunting for both parents and students. As the cost of college continues to skyrocket, families are being forced to take on huge amounts of student loan debt in order to pay for their child’s higher education.
When you’re looking at colleges, you want to make sure that you’re getting a good investment. You don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on an education that isn’t going to pay off. But what happens if the school you choose turns out to be a fraud? Can you sue them for breach of contract or misrepresentation? It turns out, the answer is yes, in certain situations.
Let’s look at how the student loan financial burden is affecting parents, students and graduates alike, as well as ways student loan debt borrowers can get relief if their schools failed to deliver on their promises — all of this without having to file a malpractice lawsuit in court, in many cases.
The true cost of a college education
The cost of college tuition has been steadily rising over the past decade. According to CollegeBoard’s Trends in Higher Education report from 2020, public four-year colleges are now charging an average tuition fee of $10,560 per year for in-state students (an increase of 25% since 2010). Private four-year colleges have seen even greater increases — with average tuition now costing $37,650 per year (an increase of 33% since 2010).
These prices don’t include room and board costs which can add thousands more dollars onto the bill each year. On top of that are textbooks which cost an average of $1,240 per year — bringing the total annual cost up to almost $50,000! It’s no wonder that many families are feeling the pressure when it comes time to pay for their child’s higher education.
This financial pressure is compounded by student loan debt with the average student graduating with a bachelor’s degree having accumulated more than $30,000 in student loan debt by graduation day. Intensifying the financial burden is when a graduate can’t find the employment promised by the school or the institution they attended, leaving them with a hefty debt sum and no viable employment options in their selected field of training or education.
Breach of contract – what is it and how can private schools be liable for it
Breach of contract occurs when either party fails to uphold the terms agreed upon, resulting in damages for the innocent party. Private schools and colleges can be liable for breach of contract if they fail to fulfill obligations as discussed within the contract. For example, if a private school fails to adequately train its teachers or does not provide support services as outlined in the application agreement, this could constitute a breach.
Misrepresentation may also arise when parties make false statements or omissions that deceive another person into an agreement. It’s important for students or parents to be aware of an institution’s policies to ensure their rights are protected and they are not being taken advantage of by the school or university.
Unfortunately, lawsuits claiming educational malpractice are usually thrown out by courts due to difficulty proving these cases. In many instances, it’s less costly and more effective to hire contract cancellation experts like, IRONFIST Legal, to do battle for you. Consumer rights activist, Mike Cantrell, leverages his decades-long experience and proven track record in fighting against abusive consumer contracts in areas such as student loans, timeshare cancellation, medical services, and construction contracts, to name a few.
Misrepresentation – what is it and how can private schools be liable for it
Misrepresentation is a legal concept that occurs when someone makes a false or inaccurate claim that induces another into entering into a contract. This could include misstatements, half-truths, or omissions of material facts. A school’s failure to comply with promises it made or even its failure to fully disclose information before acceptance can be considered misrepresentation if any of its statements are found to be false.
When this occurs, the misled party may have the right to sue the school for breach of contract and recover damages such as tuition payment costs. IRONFIST Legal meticulously combs through these types of contracts to ensure whether contractually binding statements are accurate or otherwise raise liability from misrepresentation. In some cases, IRONFIST Legal can negotiate loan forgiveness to student loan borrowers if they were defrauded by their schools. Borrowers can also get relief if their schools close before they could complete a degree.
What are the consequences for private schools if they are found to be in breach of contract or misrepresentation
Private schools and colleges can face serious consequences if they’re found to be in breach of contract or misrepresentation. If a claim merits a civil or criminal trial, the school may be forced to pay high damages, penalties, and even legal fees. Schools also run the risk of reputational damage caused by negative publicity and strained relationships with students, faculty, and other partners if they’re found guilty of such violations.
The best approach is for private schools and colleges to adhere to their contractual obligations and to accurately represent their services and products. This way, they can save themselves from potential legal disputes that could cost them time, money, and respect. But when they fail to do so, students have rights and protections afforded to them under federal and state consumer rights protection laws.
Borrowers whose claims are approved and whose contracts are successfully cancelled can expect:
- Full or partial discharge of their student loans.
- Reimbursement of money paid toward their student loans, in some instances.
- Removal of negative credit reporting with the credit bureaus, wherever applicable.
How can students protect themselves from being taken advantage of by private schools?
When considering a private school or college, it’s important for students to do their research and to make sure that any contracts they sign are fully understood. Students should also ensure that any promises made by the school are accurately stated in the contract and should be aware of their rights under the law.
It’s also a good idea to obtain independent advice concerning the contract before signing it, as well as obtaining verification of claims made by the school regarding academic standards and additional services. Finally, it’s wise to remember that schools have an obligation to properly inform students of all inherent risks associated with enrollment to protect both parties.
Breach of contract and misrepresentation are two ways in which private schools can be held liable for their actions. If a school is found to have breached a contract with a student, the consequences can be severe. In addition, if a school is found to have misled a student about the nature of their education or the career opportunities available to them, the school may also be held liable.
Students who are considering attending a private school should do their research to ensure that the school is reputable and that they’ll be getting what they pay for. Students and other borrowers typically have more success suing or recovering damages if they can prove that an educational institution broke a contractual agreement or made false promises when enrolling into the school.
Do you qualify to bring action against your or your student’s school?
You might qualify for a contract cancellation or student debt forgiveness if you believe your school defrauded you in one of the following ways:
- The school’s administrators, recruiters, or admissions personnel misled you about their educational programs. This may also include deceptive practices in their advertisements or literature used in coercing student enrollment in their school or associated programs.
- They violated certain federal or state laws, such as consumer protection statutes or laws related to your loan or educational services.
Submitting your claim for determination of qualification for contract cancellation or student loan forgiveness is easy. All it takes is answering a few simple questions to get started on the contract cancellation process. In most cases, IRONFIST Legal can help you secure an out-of-court settlement or negotiation whenever you’ve been wronged. This includes if your school has permanently closed their doors, and even if you don’t qualify for other federal student loan forgiveness programs.
Liability For Fraudulent Misrepresentation
The rising cost of college places a tremendous burden on both parents and students alike – whether it be financially or through attempts at providing academic advantage through private schooling . Unfortunately , it can also take an emotional toll whenever these institutions of higher learning fail to deliver on their promises. While it may prove difficult for court’s to find fault against these institutions who potentially may have deceived their students, it’s not impossible to settle outside of the courtroom. It’s important to recognize that you have options as we work towards developing solutions to alleviate the undue hardship brought on by schools that fail to deliver as promised.
Not completely sure if you qualify? IRONFIST Legal can do the legwork for you to determine if viable options exist in your particular situation. They can also find out if your school has been the subject of legal action by the federal government, state attorneys general, or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
IRONFIST Legal takes the biggest indicators — whether the school has been sued or if they’re facing legal action for their practices — in determining your chances of success. IRONFIST Legal finds, takes, and uses any judgment against your school and uses it as evidence for your claim to help you win.