Connecticut has passed a law protecting colleges against lawsuits alleging that they failed to provide students with a valuable education in exchange for their hefty tuition charges. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Connecticut lawmakers are pushing back against lawsuits that threaten the state’s colleges and universities with the loss hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition paid by financially struggling parents.
Gov. Dannel Malloy signed a law earlier this month that discourages trustees who handle consumer-bankruptcy cases from suing both public and private institutions to get back tuition money parents paid before filing for bankruptcy protection. […]
The lawsuits arise from federal law that gives trustees the power to recover money that a bankrupt person spent years before filing if the person didn’t get value for the expense.
But surely the services that colleges offer are so obviously worthwhile that such lawsuits should fall flat on their face…right? On the contrary, the courts are in many cases ruling for the plaintiffs in such cases, suggesting that those who argue college is often a ripoff are not so far off the mark.
But instead of doing something to make sure that colleges do provide value for money, the State of Connecticut has apparently concluded that the only way to protect college revenues from pesky lawsuits is to make it illegal for consumers to sue them on those grounds. Another sign that things are not well in American higher ed.