Skip to main content

Carroll v. Walden

On January 7, 2022 Student Defense and Relman Colfax PLLC filed a class action lawsuit in federal court alleging that Walden University engaged in fraudulent business practices, costing former students more than $28 million in overpaid tuition. The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, describes the school’s scheme to lure Black and female students into their Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program with false program requirements, then compel students to complete more credit hours than originally advertised.

The plaintiffs are seeking a judgment against Walden that affirms the school violated consumer protection and Civil Rights laws such as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, as well as damages and financial relief to compensate for tuition payments.

As the complaint explains, Walden enticed students by promoting false and misleading course requirements, then required them to complete substantial additional coursework — dozens of credit hours in some cases — beyond what was originally advertised to students. The school reaped the financial gain from this scheme, stringing along students who were already deeply invested in their degree plan knowing they’d likely take the additional courses in hopes of finishing.

Walden targeted and disproportionately hurt Black and female students with their malicious practices. In 2016, 41% of students across Walden’s doctoral programs identified as Black — more than seven times the national average of Black students enrolled in doctoral coursework. Nearly 77% identified as female. 

Update: On November 28, 2022, a federal judge denied Walden University’s motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of former students by Student Defense and Relman Colfax PLCC. In the ruling, a court expressly allowed “reverse redlining” claims under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to be considered on the merits in a higher education case. A press release on the ruling is available here

If you are a Walden student or are interested in more information about this lawsuit, please contact us here and let us know about your experience.

News Coverage