What are my rights if I’m a student currently enrolled in a private university that has stopped offering the classes I need to complete my degree program?

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What are my rights if I’m a student currently enrolled in a private university that has stopped offering the classes I need to complete my degree program?

I have 1 semester left for a bachelor’s degree. Are they obligated to provide the classes so I can finish me degree?

Asked on November 21, 2014 under Business Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You need to reference any/all contracts (e.g. the agreement you signed when you became a student) and any marketing or promotional materials (such as on a website) which were "out there" and provided to or available to you before or at the time you signed up, since such materials, or any terms and conditions included in them, may become part of your agreement. If there is anything in any of those materials stating that courses/classes are subject to change, or that there is no guaranty that specific courses will available, then you would not have a case--they'd have the right to drop classes. If the don't have such language in contracts or marketing materials, then you *may* have a claim based on breach of contract--they took your money without giving you the opportunity to get a degree--and may be entitled to some monetary compensation, such as the cost to take those classes elsewhere to get your degree. It is most likely that you cannot force them to offer the classes however; the law disfavors what is called "specific performance," or forcing someone to do something (rather than paying monetary compensation), and while it is sometimes available, usually, it is not.


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