The Capella Lawsuit

Peiffer Wolf Files Federal Class Action Lawsuit Against Capella University

The law firm of Peiffer Wolf filed a federal class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota on April 20, 2018, alleging Capella University and Capella Education Company, commonly known simply as “Capella,” violated doctoral students’ rights by creating a process intended to ensure that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for students to timely complete, or complete at all, their doctoral programs.  The lawsuit alleges that Capella made misleading statements about the time to completion and cost of their mostly student-loan financed doctoral degree. The Complaint further alleges:


This lawsuits seeks recovery for the thousands of similarly situated doctoral students who were harmed by Capella’s deceptive doctoral degree process (“the Capella Doctoral Process”).


Frustrated, doctoral students realized that contrary to Capella’s promises:

These facts, inconsistent as they may seem, were withheld from the students prior to their enrollment at Capella, or while they attended for that matter. With these false promises and misleading statements, Capella ensnared thousands of doctoral students.

They did not have control over the time it would take to complete their doctoral degree program;

They were at the mercy of Capella advisors who can and did ensure that doctoral students would be misled, confused, and ultimately cheated out of their money to the benefit of Capella.

Capella Lawsuit:  Smoke-and-mirrors doctoral degree process

Universities exist to educate and grant degrees. However, Capella – a for-profit corporation — created a smoke-and-mirrors doctoral degree process to receive ever-increasing amounts of money in the form of tuition payments and fees. The longer a student was kept in pursuit of their degree, the more tuition payments and fees that student would pay, and, importantly, the more money Capella would make.


Further, having already paid tens of thousands of dollars to get “halfway” through the program or potentially further (i.e., completing the classroom work and colloquium), most students would understandably be compelled to continue pursuing their degree despite Capella’s hurdles, feeling they have what it takes if they just keep working.


It was nearly a perfect plan. Given that the Capella doctoral program was mostly online, students were isolated from the vast majority of their peers, unable to see whether others faced the same challenges. Instead, the students would assume it was just them, and continue a fight they could not win.


Capella intended to (and did) generate substantial additional profits by way of additional tuition and fees. The practice resulted in the members of the Class paying substantially more for Capella’s doctoral degree programs than promised by Capella (or reasonably anticipated by the students).


Capella’s acts caused substantial damage to students. If Capella had not misrepresented the time – and therefore, the true cost – of its doctoral degree programs, many Class members would not have attended Capella, made tuition and fee payments, or borrowed any amount including but not limited to student loans for tuition and fees, room and board charges, costs of books and supplies and other expenses.


Further, had Capella not misrepresented the timelines, real-world costs, and realities of its doctoral degree process, Class members would not have registered for the program or paid for the educational services offered by Capella. Instead, students relied upon Capella’s misrepresentations and omissions and are now saddled with crippling debt, bad credit, inability to obtain additional student loans, useless course credits that will not transfer to other institutions, and most times, no doctoral degree.


Peiffer Wolf Continues to Represent Capella Students


Current and prior Capella Doctoral students who believe they were subjected to fraudulent conduct or misrepresentations by Capella should Contact us Today for a FREE Consultation. Contact us by filling out an online Contact Form, calling 314-669-3600, emailing Paul Lesko at plesko@peifferwolf.com, or by emailing Brandon Wise at bwise@peifferwolf.com today.

Contact Us for a FREE Consultation.


    Victim of Capella’s Misrepresentations?