A proposed class action lawsuit has been filed against Capella Education Company and Capella University, Inc. in which the plaintiffs allege the school’s “smoke and mirrors” doctoral programs are no more than a “bait and switch” scheme through which it’s “difficult, if not impossible” for students to receive their PhDs.
“The longer a student was kept in pursuit of their degree, the more tuition payments and fees that student would pay, and, importantly, the more money Capella would make.”
According to the complaint, proposed class members were “baited” by the defendants with misleading statements concerning the time—and amounts of money—it would take to earn a doctoral degree through Capella’s multi-year programs. As for the “switch,” the lawsuit claims Capella threw at doctoral candidates “an endless routine or hurdles” while reaping additional tuition payments.
“Students who believed they were getting ever closer to obtaining their doctoral degree were in fact stuck with decreasing resources, faculty turnover, disorganization and a lack of oversight,” the lawsuit charges, “all of which increased the length of the doctoral students’ enrollments at Capella.”
The plaintiffs say that contrary to the defendants’ advertising and marketing promises, Capella doctoral students did not have control over the time it would take to complete their PhDs. The case alleges members of the proposed class were instead left to “the mercy of Capella advisors who can and did ensure that doctoral students would be misled, confused, and ultimately cheated out of their money” to benefit the school.