No job? Just sue your school

August 10, 2009
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Can’t find a job? Sue your school! That’s what one graduate in New York City has decided to do. She thinks it’s her school’s fault she can’t find a job because its office of career advancement hasn’t provided her with leads and the career advice it promised.

The Monroe College IT graduate wants her $70,000 in tuition back. The college claims it helps graduates in their careers and argues the lawsuit is without merit.

When I first heard this story and before I knew what her degree was in, I thought this story had to be about a law student. But perhaps a law student would know this kind of action may end up being deemed frivolous or quickly tossed out.

It took me more than 6-months to find a full-time job after graduating, and it wasn’t even in my major. When my bank account was running low and my student loans were coming due, it would have been nice to have the university reimburse me for the money I paid. After all, I went there to become skilled in a specific field with the goal of working in said field. It took me longer than I thought it would to score a full-time journalism job.

But I want to know how a graduate who hasn’t found “gainful employment” since graduating has the money to hire an attorney. If she’s not working, who’s paying the attorney? I doubt an attorney would take on this case pro bono, but maybe one has. Perhaps the grad is proceeding pro se in order to save money.

I know you can’t be guaranteed a job after graduating because jobs are dependent on so many factors (qualifications, economy, competition, etc.). It’s not the school’s fault she can’t find a job. Perhaps it could be more helpful in trying to find leads, but it’s up to each individual to score employment. For those of us who struggled for months or years to find a job in our field, wouldn’t it be great if you could sue your school and get back that tuition if you couldn’t find a job in your major within a certain time period?

I know that would in essence give some a free education and reward them for being jobless, while graduates who found jobs would still have to pay for their education. But when you’re broke, sitting at home all day (possibly at your parents’ house), or working at the same job you did in high school, getting back your tuition, even through a lawsuit, would be a nice dream, wouldn’t it?
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