Wayland Academy / $20,594 Tuition Charged for 7 Days of School
$20, 594 Tuition Charged for Seven Days of School, Unethical Practice on Tuition Refund
In September 2008, my child was a student beginning his third year at Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. I began paying tuition for academic year 2008/2009 through Tuition Pay starting in July 2008.
By the time my child began school at Wayland Academy in September 2008, my prepayment totaled $17, 582, nearly half the tuition for the academic year.
Seven days after the school year began, Wayland Academy's representatives asked me to withdraw my child from the school, in a manner that I can only
describe as the single most thuggish conduct I and my family have ever encountered. I withdrew my son. Wayland Academy refused to give me my prepaid tuition of $17, 582 back. In addition, Wayland Academy refused to give me my son's transcripts for me to enroll him in another school,
until I paid them an additional** $3012, that they said I owed them. I called the school to ask for my son's transcripts so that I could enroll my son in his new school, and the school rep told me, "You're not getting the transcript until you pay us what you owe us." I had to pay $3012 for my son's transcript. The total amount I paid Wayland Academy for 7 (seven) days of attendance by my son amounts to $20594. As of today I have not received my money back. I had tuition insurance. Please be aware that any insurance premiums that you pay to a private school to cover your* tuition in the event of withdrawal is not for your** benefit but the school's benefit.
I have reported my case to the State Attorney General's Office in Wisconsin, the Federal Trade Commission (a debt of gratitude to FCC's Mr. Hodges) and legal counsel at the National Association of Independent Schools. I have also sent Parent Service alerts to FTC, members of the Wisconsin State Legislature, and Wisconsin Education officials at the Office of Public Instruction. My case has been forwarded by consumer advocates to CBS's 60 Minutes, consumer unit at ABC's 20/20, investigative team at Milwaukee Journal & Sentinel, and Consumer Reports,
Parent Service Announcement: Do not fall for the advertising, or the aggressive recruiting outreach that private schools do, which include school logo sweatshirts, diplomas of acceptance after initial interviews, and other personal charm offensives and outreach from their alum parents, alum and students, and other representatives. Please be aware that private schools are not subject to any state or national laws. They are not subject to any laws administered by state education departments or national education agencies, and State Attorney General offices do not monitor or prosecute private schools for violations of business, insurance, or consumer laws.
Private schools often state in their marketing materials that they are accredited by the National Association of Independent Schools and other regional accreditation agencies. These declarations are factually incorrect and meaningless. The NAIS states categorically that it does not accredit schools. Regional "accreditation" agencies are trade associations that exist to help private schools develop and increase their student enrollment.