Protecting Rights of Students in Higher Education

The reach of education laws doesn’t end with high school graduation. The law affords students at colleges and universities, particularly at schools that receive public financial support, many protections and guarantees akin to those they enjoyed when they were in K-12 schools.

The institutional expertise of The Education Lawyers, Jacobson & John LLP can guide families through the many issues they may face in their college years, including discrimination in admission, allegations of misconduct, and disputes over the Constitutional right to self-expression.

Expanding Access to Higher Education

College once was the exclusive preserve of the wealthy and connected. Beginning in 1945, though, when the GI Bill first subsidized college education for millions of soldiers returning from World War II, higher education has increasingly become a requirement for professional success for students of all means and backgrounds.

It also has become notoriously more expensive. Between 2005 and 2015, the average annual tuition at a public college or university in Pennsylvania jumped more than 60 percent, from $8,249 to $13,246 (measured in 2014 dollars). That makes it more important than ever for students and their parents to ensure that their school is meeting its obligations.

Colleges and Universities Have Obligations

Laws that apply to colleges and universities are usually different from those affecting free, public schools, and how they are implemented often varies from one school to the next. Additionally, because most college students legally are adults, families who have grown accustomed to certain procedures and accommodations prior to the college years may be surprised to discover that their new college student has acquired both additional rights and additional responsibilities.

If you believe that you or a student in your household is experiencing discrimination or other unfair treatment with regard to admissions, educational accommodation, housing, financial assistance, student services, athletic participation, or matters of discipline, contact our firm for a free consultation.

We can assist with:

  • Title IX discrimination claims
  • Other discrimination in matters of admission, housing, or other areas on the basis of race, age, national origin, religious affiliation, and similar criteria
  • Disputes related to freedom of expression, free exercise of religion, and other Constitutional protections
  • Allegations of honor code violations and other areas of academic discipline