Lawsuit Says Minnesota-Based University Deliberately Draws Out Graduation Process


January 01, 2017 04:20 PM

A doctoral student is suing a Minnesota-based for-profit online university, claiming the school intentionally draws out the process to graduate in an attempt to bring in more tuition money.

Walden University and Laureate International Universities are named in the lawsuit filed by Aaron Bleess, who has been a student since 2009.


The lawsuit says Walden’s dissertation process was designed to “ensure that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for students to timely complete, or complete at all, their doctoral programs.”

The lawsuit also says the defendants’ “deliberately drawn-out dissertation process” ensured that Walden and Laureate continued to receive tuition and fee payments well beyond the completion dates promised.

Bleess says psychology doctoral students were told it would take 3-4 years at a cost of $55,000-$65,000 to complete the program, but later-released documents confirm the program was “designed” to take six years.

He also says students seeking a Doctors of Business Administration were told it would take as little as 96 weeks to obtain a degree, but Walden and Laureate later admitted the program was designed to take 50 months.

We reached out to Walden University for a comment, and they sent a statement saying, “We are unable to comment on pending litigation. We are extremely proud of Walden’s more than 45-year commitment to offering doctoral programs at a distance to working professionals. Walden also has a long and established track record of career advancement and low student loan default rates.”


Jennie Lissarrague

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