July 2017: A federal judge granted final approval of the settlement agreement.

March 2017: A federal judge preliminarily approved a settlement agreement that proposes to give each class member a monetary award for the amount they paid toward a Belford High School diploma. (The amount each class member will receive depends on the number of claims filed and how much class members paid in connection with their diploma.) A final fairness hearing is scheduled for July 10, 2017. For more information, go to http://www.belfordclassaction.com/index.htm.

August 2012: A federal judge entered a default judgment against several defendants – including Belford High School, International Accreditation Agency for Online Universities, and Universal Council for Online Education Accreditation – and awarded $22,783,500 to plaintiffs.

2009: A class-action lawsuit was filed regarding the marketing of Belford High School, an online school. The complaint, which was originally filed in 2009 and amended in 2011, alleges that Belford High School misleadingly markets its online high school program as offering legitimate equivalency tests and high school diplomas when it does not. Plaintiffs also claim that Belford High School is deceptively marketed as being accredited by the International Accrediting Agency for Online Universities (IAAOU) and Universal Council for Online Education Accreditation (UCOEA) when, according to the complaint, these accrediting agencies are not recognized by the United States Department of Education and are fictitious entities created to make Belford High School appear legitimate.

For more information, go to http://www.belfordclassaction.com/.

(Lauber et al v. Belford High School et al, Case No. 09-cv-14345, E.D. Mich.)

For more information about other class-action lawsuits regarding the marketing of educational institutions and TINA.org’s coverage of the issue, click here.

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