Class-action lawsuit accuses online university of ‘scheme’ that targets black students


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Walden University is the subject of a class-action lawsuit for allegedly implementing “multi-party discriminatory” practices and misrepresentation of course lengths that particularly victimized black male and female students.

Walden is a private, online, for-profit institution of higher learning headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota that offers 70 degree programs.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Maryland by the National Student Legal Defense Network in January, represents several former students who claim Walden’s misconduct has trapped minority students in particular into cycles of ‘debt and desperation’. . The New York Times reports.

He argues that Walden deliberately lengthened the time students took to complete their graduate studies in the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program by making them wait for approval from a three-member committee.

be described in the trial as a “multi-part discriminatory, fraudulent, deceptive and dishonest scheme” set up by the university, the students claim that they had to re-enroll for semesters and continue to pay tuition during the process of approval.

Because the number of capstone credits required to graduate was misrepresented and Walden allegedly lured students under the “false promise that they could quickly earn a graduate degree,” the lawsuit says the school has overcharged students by more than $28.5 million.

“Walden lured students in with the promise of an affordable degree, then chained them to increase profits,” Aaron Ament, president of the National Student Legal Defense Network, said in a statement. “As if that weren’t enough, Walden specifically targeted black students and women for this predatory program, masking his discrimination with a focus on diversity.”

The students claim the university violated consumer protection laws, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and misrepresented the “cost and credits” needed to graduate, according to the NY Times.

The lawsuit accuses Walden of “reverse redlining”, which targets “minority communities with its advertising and personalization to appeal to women,” the outlet said.

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Notably, Walden presents itself as an institution that champions diversity. The website claims that the university is ranked number one among 380 accredited institutions for awarding doctorates to African-American students” and also first “for awarding graduate degrees in multiple disciplines to African-American students. Americans”.

A spokeswoman for Walden responded to questions about the lawsuit by saying the university would “continue to work to ensure that groups of people who have traditionally been underrepresented in higher education know that it is possible to obtain an education and expand their access to opportunities at Walden University.”

If you are interested, read more via the NY Times.

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