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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.


  • Wa
    waylandalumni Oct 26, 2011

    Waylnad Academy is quilty of gravious ethical violations, but unfortantley, in our country, we don''t monitor or regulate private schools like we should. I was a student there, for Freshmen year [protected]). I was an 3.0 student, never got into any trouble while I was there. My parents are small business owners, and being were in a recession, we were in quite a bit of debt. So obviously I'm shocked to find that my tuition is rasied from $6, 000 to $9, 000 for my Sophomore year, when we were $30, 000 in debt. Now, take into account that the director of the financial aid department has an Ivy League education, having attended Columbia University. So did he make an error in his calculations? Did his calculaotr not have a negative sign on it? Please, tell me how that is reasonable or even logical to charge a family in debt more. Oh, and just to put some syrup on the ice cream, keep in mind that Wayland has "deals" with certain students. One person I know only pays $8, 000 a year and his father is the dean of a college that many Wayland alumni enroll in. Hmmmm, a dean, who makes roundabouts of $80, 000 dollars a year is asked ot pay only 10% of his paycheck, while my parents were asked to pay over 100%. I think something fishy is going on here...just saying.

    0 Votes
  • Mi
    MikeLB Aug 17, 2010

    My parents had a similar experience with Wayland. I had attended the school for a couple of years and had signed up to attend for a third year. However, before the school year began, I decided to transfer to another school. My parents attempted to get my official transcripts from Wayland. They were told that the transcripts would not be released until they paid the tuition for my junior year (of which I did not attend even a single day). Since my parents signed a contract stating my intent to attend for junior year, they were required to pay $20, 000+ for that school year. The matter was never resolved. Luckily, we found another high school that was willing to allow me to enroll with only a copy of my unofficial transcripts. The $20, 000+ debt remained until my parents filed for bankruptcy years later.

    0 Votes
  • Ri
    rich644 Jul 05, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Something doesn't add up here. For your child to be "asked to withdraw" after just one week, it must have been bad. Please fill us in on the details, as I cannot imagine what he had to have done, I'm guessing there is another side to this story.

    I went to Wayland back in the early 80's. (back then it was *only* $13, 000.) In my opinion, Wayland is a first tier college prepatory boarding school. With many of my classmates going on to attend the Ivy leagues. I felt the school was fairly liberal in its discipline and with a fair amount of lattitude given to its students, (especially when it came to pot) I do remember a few kids getting kicked out, but as I recall they were generally given several chances before they got the axe. Maybe they have cracked down since my day. (one strike and you're out?)

    0 Votes
  • Ad
    aderr May 03, 2010

    I also attend Wayland Academy. I have looked over my enrollment contract before last year, and I noticed in bold, at the bottom page : TUITION IS NON REFUNDABLE AND MUST BE PAID IN FULL REGARDLESS OF STUDENT'S ATTENDANCE. End of question. as long as its in the contract and she signed it, she has no right to go around screaming bloody murder about it.

    0 Votes
  • Ca
    CapnHardLiner Feb 08, 2010

    I think I'm going to play the Devil's Advocate here. Here's the bottom line. Wayland Academy is a business and by the time September rolls around they hope to have fulfilled their quota for new customers (students). If that student does something to warrant removal after only a week's attendance the school's out of that portion of income from said student for the rest of the school year. The amount lost by the parent can be looked upon as a penalty for what I assume to be directly caused by some sort of misconduct on the part of the student. If the student did indeed do something bad enough to get him removed then I think the parents have the parental obligation to teach their son that actions have consequences. As of this writing I hope their son did learn his lesson but from what I read it appears to me to be another case of someone who feels privileged enough to deserve special treatment. I know about those kinds of people for I too attended Wayland Academy. I left with knowledge but as for 'character' Wayland Academy is severely wanting. In other words it's not the real world and doesn't teach the survival skills that a good stint at Adversity University or the military can teach. The brat needs a kick in the pants and a good dose of reality.

    0 Votes
  • Da
    DanSmley Nov 27, 2009

    Send your little darlings to public school.

    0 Votes
  • Ro
    RodSil Oct 19, 2009

    It’s great that you’re happy with the education you received there. But this is a
    consumer complaint site. For you to say that the individual’s complaint is rubbish because YOU had a great experience there is ridiculous. Scroll this site and you’ll see that private schools and membership clubs consistently charge for services not rendered. The laws that are in place to protect consumers do not apply to either of these industries. Since your parents bankrolled your studies and you didn’t have to pay for it, it’s understandable that you’d think that a $21, 000 bill for a week’s worth of school is aye okay.

    -1 Votes
  • Ho
    Hodge05 Oct 08, 2009

    This complaint is absolutely rubbish. I attended Wayland Academy for four years and still have strong connections to that school and can tell you absolutely that there is no way Wayland would due this without good cause. What the complainer did not mention was that when Wayland "recommends" that you should withdraw, they are basically telling you that your kid is going to get kicked out. They are really doing the child/parent a favor here. By allowing them to withdraw, the child's records will be sparred the damage that explusion would bring it. This in my opinion is very kind by them. I can also tell you that for Wayland to kick out a child after only eight days, the kid had to have done something terrible. I would guess that 15-20 kids during my Wayland tenure were kicked out/told to leave, and only a few of these were kicked out during the first month or so. These offenses usually were worse than the ones that occurred later. My guess is that the complainer's child committed something like shoplifting, drug-use, continued alcohol use, or cheating/plagiarism. All of these things are unacceptable for good reason and am almost positive that the complainer's child did one of this or something very similar. About the money, you really should not be mad at the school. Its a policy that I believe most private schools and colleges use. I just graduated from university last May and I know people who got kicked out during their freshmen year and they got absolutely no money back. The person who you really should be mad at here is either yourself for failing to understand the contract that you signed with Wayland Academy, or better yet your child for breaking Wayland Rules and getting himself kicked out.

    To those who read this and are unsure if they should send their child to Wayland Academy, please don't listen to it. Wayland Academy was and will be the greatest time of my life. There your child will meet life long friends, have moments that he will never forget, and grow profoundly as an individual. Not to mention he will likely get into a good university(I went to Wake Forest University myself). Please go to Wayland Academy if you have any concerns. You will find that the people who run the school there are nothing like the people that the complainer says they are. Wont be a decision that you'll regret.

    0 Votes

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