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Online College Students Sue George Washington University for Fraud

Updated on April 14, 2016

Students sue for better online teaching

George Washington University is being accused of fraud in a new lawsuit filed by students dissatisfied with an online master’s degree program.

The students say the online curriculum that relies heavily on PowerPoint presentations is not worth the more than $28,000 they paid to enroll.

The program lacked adequate lectures and the teachers often would not respond to student questions, according to the plaintiffs. The graduate program is called Security and Safety Leadership.

One of the plaintiffs is Brice Bradford, a consultant to the U.S. Marshal’s Service. He said he was not looking for another college degree. He wanted to learn about safety and security to improve his career.

He complained to the university, which included sending a letter to the university president, but did not receive the response he sought.

As a result, he hired Hassan Zavareei of the firm Tycko & Zavareei as his attorney to represent him in the lawsuit.

Zavareei told an NBC4 reporter, They absolutely did not get what they paid for. The university advertised the master’s degree program as the equivalent of classroom learning but Zavareei said, That’s not at all what happened here.

University officials said they would respond to the fraud allegations only in court. However, they released a statement saying, Overall, the program has been successful for many of our students. Since the Security and Safety Leadership program began in 2009, 341 students have graduated, and many have gone on to successful careers in the military, law enforcement and other government agencies.

George Washington University was one of the nation’s first major universities to offer online courses. It is far from being the first private school to be sued over allegations that its program is inadequate to provide the quality of education it promised.

In a well-publicized 2014 lawsuit, seven former employees of the New Jersey-based Harris School of Business accused school officials of misleading students about their career prospects for completing the nearly year-long pharmacy technician program. Each of the students paid more than $10,000 in tuition.

Students sue for better online teaching

George Washington University students sue after saying online courses are fraudulently substandard.
George Washington University students sue after saying online courses are fraudulently substandard.

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