The gag clauses prohibit students from sharing information about their complaint – or the complaint resolution process – with someone. While confidentiality agreements are often taken into account in the resolution of disputes, it seems that companies do not think about the views of the disputes themselves directed at the media or law enforcement. Like the requirement of individual rather than collective processes, the strategy also inserts a firewall between illegitimate students, which reduces the likelihood that they will inform each other about complaints and prevent them from finding a better solution together. The results of this report are based on data from 271 institutions collected by a multitude of methods. The main source of registration contracts comes from freedom of information requests filed with public authorities that verify registration contracts in their supervision of private institutions. In response to these requests, agencies in six states – Illinois, Virginia, Arizona, California, Texas and Florida – provided documents from a total of 171 private post-secondary institutions14. , most traditional colleges do not use formal enrolment contracts). Online searches for registration contracts and related materials revealed documents from 30 other institutions, 15 information on 35 institutions were obtained through personal contacts with school representatives or students.16 This report examines the use of enrolment contracts by different higher education institutions – in particular provisions limiting the ability of students to appeal against these institutions16. This report examines the use of enrolment contracts by different higher education institutions, in particular provisions that restrict the ability of students and alumni to appeal against these institutions. , they should feel the need.
It contains the results of a survey on post-secondary institutions, which illustrates the basic types of restrictive provisions most frequently applied, the specific language usually used, the different agreements in which these restrictive provisions appear and the types of schools that often have such contractual arrangements. The report concludes with recommendations to address this insidious practice, followed by a table listing the data for each institution studied. In order to determine which universities use enrolment contracts and what types of restrictive covenants students may be subject to, we have tried to gather information on the contracts, if they exist, that students sign when they enroll in different types of post-secondary institutions across the country. We have used a large number of methods to obtain enrolment contracts from 271 schools across all higher education – public, private and not-for-profit – and we study them for a language that limits students` rights if they have complaints about the value or practices of education for which they have paid. (See the methodological appendix at the end of this report. We found gag clauses in about one in ten registration contracts in for-profit colleges that received federal aid. Such provisions have not been found in non-profit, public or private for-profit organizations. Restrictive covenants are not in the best interest of students enrolling in a university.
Instead, they represent attempts by universities to create a space for unscrupulous marketing and low-quality education.