The holidays are generally a time of joy and rest for students. Having just finished finals, students spend the holidays relaxing after a difficult semester. However, for Virginia College students in Mississippi and across the nation, this holiday season was a time of stress and anxiety following a string of broken promises. Virginia College students abruptly became former Virginia College students when they arrived at school on December 6th to find the Virginia College campuses permanently closed.
Many students arrived for class and were left, literally, out in the cold, standing in front of locked doors on a blustery, windy day. For those who had taken the bus, they stood in shock, with nowhere to go and no answers to their myriad of questions. Would they be able to get back their tuition money, the money they had spent on books? Would they be able to transfer? Would their credits work at different schools? The school had guaranteed many students jobs, would this still happen? The students had no answer to these questions on December 6th and many still lack an answer to these questions now.
Unfortunately, this treatment was not new for the Virginia College students. The school had consistently disappointed the students it had alleged to help. Students had been promised coursework that was never offered, guaranteed jobs that never existed and deprived of an education that they had paid substantial sums to receive. Virginia College had even promised to remain open through August 2019 and could not even hold to this simple promise. At the start of this new year, with so many hopes and dreams dashed, the students must add one further question to their lives: what will they do now?
If are a Virginia College student or know one, please have them call the Mississippi Center for Justice at 769-230-0529 as we help to provide solutions to some of the many questions these students face.
Samuel Reese is an attorney with the Consumer Protection division of the Mississippi Center for Justice.