Although not exactly the latest news, Argosy University class action lawsuit still deserves a detailed scrutiny. The lawsuit, initiated by two students, involves a dispute between their college and the Argosy University, which they had signed up for as full time students. In carrying out this lawsuit, the Argosy University could have a beneficial effect on student-loan borrowers. This is probably how the public interest gets involved in these hot topics through mass media. It is also how students themselves come to learn more about the case and how they can possibly make a successful argument before the courts.
The Argosy University class action lawsuit revolves around the school’s failure to grant the students’ request for student loans forgiveness. Argosy University, through a series of administrative acts, failed to grant the student loans for which they were borrowers. But the Argosy University, through its now-fired Interim President, John K. Lemley, claimed that the graduates “mishapped” the educational plans of the college in the process of signing up. This, according to Argosy University, “was done in an effort to circumvent the requirements that would have been applicable” during the graduation process. Consequently, Argosy filed a lawsuit against the graduates, seeking damages for breach of contract and unfair tuition practices.
Argosy University, through the efforts of its Board of Trustees, has pursued a course of action that has surprised many lawyers, including those in the legal field. The Argosy University class action lawsuit, unlike most of the other recent lawsuits, does not seek damages for pain and suffering, but for the damages “totaled by the breach of the contractual obligations of the college.” Argosy, nevertheless, believes that its actions are appropriate in the circumstances it has discovered. And, it is pursuing this litigation “in an effort to secure the future of its students and its faculty.” Argosy has announced that the litigation is likely to result in award of millions of dollars in funding to the class action plaintiff and class members who were plaintiffs in this case.
This class action lawsuit comes at a time when the number of college students struggling to pay off enormous student loan debts is at an all-time high. Many of these young people have found that they cannot pursue their education because they are unable to meet the repayment deadlines. As such, many of them are in deep debt and unable to resolve this problem through any other means. However, this does not mean that they should stop trying. If a student loan discharge can be obtained, then these debtors can successfully complete their educations and obtain the financial security that will allow them to gain access to the financial resources required for completing further education. The Argosy University class action lawsuit asserts that such funding can be obtained by the class of plaintiffs.
The lawsuit targets four separate entities: the Art Institutes, defendants ARI Education Inc., and the Bank of Ohio, former students Kari Wilcox and Brian Skadlow, and the Ohio Department of Financial Services, specifically the Ohio State Board of Trustees. Each of these entities was accused of concealing the nature of the financial crisis and seeking to defraud the students of their tuition refunds. In addition to seeking to defraud students, these entities also pursued a number of unfair tuition rate increases which further harmed the students. These hikes were later used by the defendants to circumvent the student loan debt crisis.
Argosy University filed a motion to dismiss on behalf of the Ohio State Board of Trustees, arguing that the lawsuit should be dismissed because the claims raised by the plaintiffs were barred by the doctrine of estoppel. The court did not agree with Argosy’s argument and ordered a trial, which is scheduled to begin on February 10, 2021. Both parties have until the date of the trial to file their answer to the complaint to vacate any previously awarded debts, plus interest and fees. Kari Wilcox is expecting to join her former students in the Argosy University Class Action lawsuit.