Agreement Between Student And College

This report examines the use of enrolment contracts by different higher education institutions, in particular provisions that restrict how students and former students can resolve complaints against these institutions if they feel the need. It presents the results of a survey of post-secondary organizations that illustrates the basic types of restrictions most used, the specific language, the languages usually used, the different agreements that contain these restrictive provisions, and the types of schools that often have such contractual agreements. The report concludes with recommendations to combat this insidious practice, followed by a table showing the data for each institution studied. To conduct our research on the restrictive rules that colleges impose on students, we had to collect copies of the contracts that students sign when they enroll in a college. Very quickly, our research ran into a problem. If we could find a registration treaty used by an institution, we could make a decision on the use of the four types of restrictive provisions from that document. The problem is that in most traditional non-profit and public institutions, university representatives had no idea what we meant when we asked for their “enrollment contract” or “enrollment agreement.” While all of the for-profit institutions in our sample used enrollment contracts, none of the public institutions did. (Ten of the thirty-four nonprofit institutions use enrollment contracts, but this likely exaggerates their frequency, as these schools have been identified by the online search for enrollment contracts.) Restrictive covenants are not in the best interests of students enrolling in university. Instead, they represent attempts by universities to create space for unscrupulous marketing and poor quality education. Colleges that use restrictive covenants should remove them from their enrolment contracts. At the same time, agencies that oversee higher education institutions can take steps to protect consumers: when individuals have complaints about the practices of a company or individual, they often have the choice to challenge their disputes themselves, consolidate in a single case, or file representative actions or “class actions.” Group approaches are common in cases of consumption, as individual consumers often lack the knowledge or financial resources to assert a right. . .

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