I Had to Withdraw From Law School Due to Illness. They Say I Owe Money. – Carol

“Dear Steve,

Student Loan Debt: over $100,000.00
law school debt plus masters debt but no undergrad debt.

Here’s one for you. I was studying for a Masters at a law school in so. cal. withdrew due to illness.

They say I never withdrew and took the money for one class from student loan and the other class had private funding of their choice.

Now they say I have a balanced owed on private funding and will not re-enroll me in the program.

I am half way through at $20,000 under in student loans….

What do I do?


Dear Carol,

Let’s start with the obvious.

Do you have any proof that you provided them with notice of withdrawal? I can see their point if you just stopped going but most schools have a deadline at which you can withdraw without penalty.

It is a bit odd that one class was paid for by student loans and they billed you for the other class. How does that happen? Is that the way it normally works?

What is the name of the school so I can do some more research?

I admit, based on the limited details you have given me it is a bit perplexing.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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3 thoughts on “I Had to Withdraw From Law School Due to Illness. They Say I Owe Money. – Carol”

  1. Dear Steve:

    Yes. I have proof that I withdrew, forms, phone calls, e-mails and I have faxed it to the law school but they continue to say I owe the balance before I can re-enroll.
    No. I did not know they were going to take out a loan for the other class and that I would owe a private loan. Did not agree to that. I was shocked and surprised after a couple of months later, (when I tried to re-enroll), I owed a balance to the private balance and the government student loan for one class.
    The name of the school is Thomas Jefferson Law School in San Diego, CA.
    It was online courses for the graduate program. I have taken four classes and have four classes to go. I am trying again to re-enroll but they say I still have a balance?
    I have spoken, e-mailed and called approximately 4 different people involved.
    I have doctor notices for the time off and even had to stop working for approximately two years.
    Very frustrating to pay approximately $8,000.00 for classes I did not attend.
    I withdrew during the first week but I knew I could not complete the work because
    I was not well enough.
    Thank you for your time.

    • Thomas Jefferson Law School, rats. Thomas Jefferson Law School has a history of being sued by their students and even a class action against them.

      I took a look on their website but they appear to be very quiet on their policies.

      For the federal loan I think you’ll have to file a complaint with the Department of Education and let them know you followed the school procedures for withdrawing and they charged it against your loan account anyway. You can file a complaint online at https://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/OIG/englishhotlineform.cfm

      You can also reach them at:

      Phone: 1-800-MIS-USED (1-800-647-8733)
      Office of Inspector General
      U.S. Department of Education
      400 Maryland Ave. SW
      Washington DC 20202-1500
      Hours of Operation: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. ET, and Tuesday and Thursday from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. ET

      You can file a complaint against the school at https://answers.ed.gov/link/portal/28022/28025/Article/552/Complaints-against-a-school-or-college

      If you think the law school is violating the ABA duties, you can file a complaint at http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/accreditation/complaint_proceedures.html

      I would also suggest filing a complaint with the BBB if you are unsatisfied with the school response.

      If you have not done so already, I would suggest you send a certified return receipt requested letter to the school and politely ask them to please provide a breakdown of the current expenses and specifically what they are for. At least then we’d have documentation from them clearly identifying the charges and then you can pursue their specific policies which allow them to charge those fees.

      Keep digging and report back.


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