Increased Tuition for an Inferior Product: The University’s Guide to Not Caring

(Source) Imagine you decided to go to the dealership to buy yourself a brand-new car. After carefully researching the model and make of car and shopping around for a good deal, you finally decide to make the purchase. When the car gets delivered, you are excited to take it out for a drive, only to realize that the dealer has sent you a Vespa (an electric scooter). You complain to the dealer and they tell you to “make the best” out of a bad situation. You might think this is ridiculous, but it is in fact the experience of almost every university-enrolled student during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a poorly-kept secret that tuition rates in the United States have risen at an alarming pace. In 1963, the average cost of attending college was $9,918 (adjusted for inflation), while in 2017, the average cost was $23,091. This precipitous increase has led students to borrow alarmingly high amounts and at increasing rates, resulting in a cumulative student loan debt teetering over $1.5 trillion. Today, students are leaving universities crippled by student loans and, in many cases, unable to pay them back. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 10.8% of [read more]

Microsoft v. Baker

Without the class action, many consumers would have no practical remedy for damages suffered no matter how good a claim they may have. For instance, when a consumer believes he is sold a faulty Xbox 360 that damages his $30 videogame disc, it makes no sense for him to pay the $400 filing fee to go to federal court—let alone hire a lawyer. As a result, without the class action, many consumers would not bother going to court, and giant companies that mass-produce products would be left with potentially millions in undeserved profits. Once a class action lawsuit is filed, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require the court to grant or deny class certification of the potential class. Last month, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Microsoft v. Baker. In January 2016, the Court granted certiorari to review the Ninth Circuit’s decision. The issue in the case is “Whether a federal court of appeals has jurisdiction under both Article III and 28 U.S.C. § 1291 to review an order denying class certification after the named plaintiffs voluntarily dismiss their claims…” Baker v. Microsoft, 797 F.3d 607 (9 th  Cir. 2015). The district court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for class [read more]