“Jobless grad sues college for 70G tuition”

by Walter Olson on August 2, 2009

Monroe College grad Trina Thompson is suing for a refund of her $70,000 tuition “because she hasn’t found gainful employment since earning her bachelor’s degree in April, according to a suit filed in Bronx Supreme Court on July 24.” [New York Post; NBC New York]

P.S. Joanne Jacobs: “I have a feeling Monroe doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee.” Jane Genova: lawsuit of this sort “should have been filed years ago”. More: Daniel Indiviglio, The Atlantic; The Onion.

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Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » Unemployed Grad Sues College Because She’s Unemployed
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{ 15 comments }

1 kimsch 08.02.09 at 7:31 pm

As if a degree guarantees a job, a well paying job at that. I have a degree and no job… could I sue my alma mater too? It’s been far longer than 3 months for me.

2 Reiko Salter 08.02.09 at 8:30 pm

she should be able to sue because Monroe College has many commercials stating that you can get a degree in as little as 15 months and then get immediate job placement after graduating. If this wasnt true then they shouldnt advertise that, you dont see Fordham University or any college like that putting out such commercials cuz they know it isnt guaranteed

3 John Fembup 08.02.09 at 8:41 pm

Looks like she didn’t learn anything at school.

Just more grounds for a lawsuit . . .

4 Luke 08.02.09 at 8:47 pm

Mmmm. I’m with you on that, but it has to be said, some of the adverts for a lot of these colleges are very aggressive and tend to imply that going there will ensure an exciting new career, with a high wage and job security that is more or less recession-proof.

If you’re parsing it badly, it’s not a big leap from there to a promise of easily finding a job. The advertising more or less relies on foolish people accepting that fiction and smarter people being willing to accept it for the fiction that it is, but applying regardless.

No case here, but it is time that colleges were a little more honest in the expectations that students should have.

5 John Burgess 08.02.09 at 10:29 pm

“This is not the way we want to live our life,” her mom told the paper. “This is not what we planned.”

If this is where the bar (sorry) is set now, then I’m looking for an attorney to front my suit(s) against deep pocket targets. I’ve had plans thwarted left and right. I didn’t know until know, however, that this was something from which I could get a) rich or b) a job.

Where were the TV commercials telling me I could sue for this? Isn’t a lack of ads an indication of negligence? Are there ambulance chasers lawyers who need to be sued for this? It smell like a class action suit to me.

6 Jim Collins 08.03.09 at 10:36 am

I wish her the best of luck. My alma mater promised lifetime placement assistance as one of their benefits. While I don’t expect them to have handed me a job upon graduation, I do expect them to do more than put my resume on a clipboard outside their office. The woman who’s job it was to be a point of contact for prospective employers, lost her job as soon as the State threatened to cut the amount of money that it was giving to the College.

7 wfjag 08.03.09 at 10:45 am

Failure to mitigate as a defense? See http://www.americorps.gov/

8 PhilG 08.03.09 at 11:04 am

Interestingly law schools are among the worst offenders in recruiting more students than the job market can support. It is so easy to start a law school and it is so profitable that there is a substantial oversupply of law schools churning out many more graduates than the law employment market can absorb. So many of those law students (often burdened with huge student loans to be paid back) end up not being able to find work as lawyers. I am surprised that,being lawyers, so far none of them have sued their law schools for misrepresentation. If you are interested in reading more on this, you might want to take a look at the website:
http://temporaryattorney.blogspot.com/

9 Addiction Analyst 08.03.09 at 2:11 pm

I am sure it has always been human nature to try and escape one’s own responsibility when making decisions that you have to live with. Obviously, her University education didn’t teach her anything about who is responsible for what. My guess is that she majored in psychology or sociology, the two fields where their product is a victim with loads of resentments.

10 Dirk D 08.03.09 at 7:24 pm

I just read the pro se complaint. I find the fact that this person received a Bachelor’s Degree shocking. My 11 year old nephew could give this woman spelling and grammar lessons. Sad.

11 GregS 08.04.09 at 10:53 am

So someone has just graduated from college and has entered the job market in the midst of the worst recession since World War II, and thinks that she is the victim of some gross injustice because she hasn’t found a job yet? Get real. The sense of entitlement among some people today is unbelievable.

12 Random Reader 08.04.09 at 12:49 pm

Help out a poor foreigner, please: is Monroe College any good? I thought a US bachelor’s degree took four years, not fifteen months. And the fees seem pretty steep. Sounds like it might be a bit of a swindle.

13 Dirk D 08.04.09 at 1:23 pm

RR

Monroe is a for-profit college and no it is not any good. These schools typically target the lower classes, promise a better life through education, and hang the students with colossal debt.

The 15 months in this case was in addition to an associates degree (usually 2 years to obtain). Usually, if one did an associates degree then one would have an additional 2 years of school to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

These for profit colleges can offer accelerated degree programs because degree credits are based on hours of class time. The level of rigor is quite malleable, which explains why this ostensibly college educated person lacks the ability to compose basic english prose.

14 Random Reader 08.04.09 at 8:13 pm

Dirk D–

Thanks. We have places like that in my own country– they’re not exactly diploma mills, but they’re much too expensive for what they offer. I looked up Monroe’s website, and it does indeed push the idea that graduates are practically guaranteed instant employment.

That said, I’ve now read the young lady’s pro se complaint, and it’s pretty damn funny. Apart from her demand for “reinbursment” of her “tutision” fees due to the failings of the career “couselor”, she’s also suing for “the stress I have been going through looking for a full time job on my own “!

15 Technology Slice 08.05.09 at 12:51 am

That’s hilarious. On what grounds is she suing the college if she is not personally employable?

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