Class-Action Suit Filed Against Online For-Profit School Walden University Claims It Exploits Blacks and Women Earning Doctorate Degrees

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against an online university, claiming it has predatory practices that target Blacks and women. Plaintiffs claim the school targets certain communities and then forces students to take double the amount of hours of classes to earn the degree.

According to a lawsuit obtained by the Atlanta Black Star, the National Student Legal Defense Network (NSLDN) filed the complaint on behalf of plaintiffs, Aljanal Carroll, Claudia Provost Charles, and Tiffany Fair, in Maryland’s federal court on Jan. 7 against Walden University, LLC, and Walden e- Learning, LLC.

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Carroll is a 49-year-old Black woman from North Carolina who attended the school from September 2017 until her graduation in October 2020. 

Her co-plaintiff, Charles, a Black 51-year-old Louisianian, matriculated between July 2017 and May 2021. Joining the two in the lawsuit that says the university violated consumer protection laws, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, is Fair. 

Fair was the first to attend the school, enrolling in June 2016 and graduating in January 2021. The Virginia resident is 43 years of age and is of mixed race, living in a Black household. 

Charles brings her Equal Credit Opportunity Act claims on behalf of the ECOA Black Student Class, a collective made up of all Black students who enrolled in and/or began classes for Walden’s DBA program in the ten-year period.

The North Carolinian and Fair bring their Equal Credit Opportunity Act claims on behalf of the ECOA Female Student Class, consisting of all female students who enrolled in and/or began classes during the same time.

At the crux of the argument, the women claim Walden, a private, online, for-profit higher education institution headquartered in Minneapolis, Minneapolis, misrepresented the amount of courses to earn a Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) and the company especially targeted Black and female students in its recruitment for the degree.

Read full story at Atlanta Black Star here.

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