Alderson Broaddus University, Inc. 

Two purposed classes have been filed in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County, West Virginia.

Concerning the employees, the purposed class, at this time, is aimed to include employees of ABU that were recipients of a correspondence on or about November 1, 2022. 

For students, the purposed class, at this time, includes only students who were enrolled at ABU for class beginning in August 2023.  

Generally, the allegations are as follows:

ABU has experienced extreme financial difficulties. At least prior to the start of the 2022-23 fall semester, there existed “rumors” about ABU’s closure.  Discussions concerning closure were widespread. Such discussions, upon information and belief, prompted ABU to correspond with employees on November 1, 2022.  The correspondence promised employees were to be provided with a “90 Days’ Notice” prior to any shut down, or termination of employment.  

Currently purposed class members discovered that ABU would violate the “90 Days’ Notice” on about August 1, 2023, when a news story was published.  No employee was provided any notice, let alone 90 days.  Many purposed class members turned down other employment, and/or failed to seek other employment, and/or moved from out-of-state to work at ABU. Many employees planned to take advantage of ABU’s program for their children that offered, among other things, free tuition to ABU (for employee’s children). 

Despite knowing that shut down was forthcoming, ABU demanded that employees continue to solicit, recruit, and enroll students. 

Current claims filed on behalf of employees include the following:

COUNT I               Breach of Contract

COUNT II              Breach of the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

COUNT III            Fraud

COUNT IV            Constructive Fraud

COUNT V             Intentional Misrepresentation

COUNT VI            Negligent Misrepresentation

COUNT VII        Unconscionability

COUNT VIII           Breach of Fiduciary Duties

COUNT IX            Punitive Damages

COUNT X             Duress, Undue Influence and Economic Loss

Damages requested on behalf of the purposed employee class include, but are not limited to the following: “Damages requested in the Complaint” 

As for the purposed class on behalf of students:

The purposed student class alleges, among other things, that ABU communicated as follows:

 “If it would ever become necessary to discontinue operations, everyone [( “faculty and staff”)] will receive at least 90 days’ notice and arrangements will be made for students to complete their degrees” (emphasis added).

Of course, 90 days’ notice was not given. Likewise, students were not permitted to complete their degrees. Students further allege that ABU, by this communication, created implied contacts with both faculty and students.  ABU, by this communication, promised that students will be permitted to complete their degrees and directed faculty and staff to continue to recruit students.  

ABU’s faculty and staff did continue to solicit and recruit students, despite knowledge of terminating the school and all degree programs.  Many of the students were solicited to transfer from other schools or other programs to ABU after November 1, 2022, when ABU knew or should have known shut down was forthcoming. ABU represented to Plaintiffs (students) that Plaintiffs (students) would have a better chance of getting into ABU’s graduate programs if they completed undergraduate studies at ABU.  Despite knowing that such degrees could not be provided due to extreme financial troubles, mismanagement, overspending, and misrepresentations to staff, faculty, and students.  

ABU advertised that it offered “44 Degree Programs”, boasted “Small Class Size – 16:1 Student/Faculty Raito”, is “Ranked Top 30 – Affordable Schools Nationwide”, and provides “Doctorate Degree Programs” and “Master’s Degree Programs”. This is directly from ABU’s website that was still in operation as of the date the original complaints were filed (August 8, 2023). 

Students allege that ABU failed to disclose in its advertising the serious problems ABU had experienced with finances, the ability to actually confer the degrees, and the strong possibility of closure. Despite ABU’s strong likelihood of closure, it continued to solicit student to transfer to ABU, continued to recruit students to ABU, and mislead students into securing payments to ABU knowing it could not fulfill promises to students of degrees, offer career services, or forgiveness of loans. 

Students further allege that ABU actively and aggressively recruited students, including the Plaintiffs to ABU upon promises that the Plaintiffs could earn a degree, and would find employment in their field, and/or would have preference to ABU graduate programs.  The Plaintiffs incurred financial obligations based upon the advertisements, solicitations, and representations of ABU, in the form of student loans in order to enroll at ABU.  The Plaintiff/Students were students at ABU and incurred financial obligations based upon the false and/or misleading advertisements, and communications of the Defendants and the representations of ABU, in the form of student loans in order to enroll at ABU, and other expedients. Based upon the advertisements and the representations of ABU and the false representations of ABU, the studentsincurred significant amounts of other expenses in the form of books, commuting costs, additional family expenses, and various other incidental costs as a result of and related to the Plaintiffs’ participation and enrollment in the program.

ABU, by and through its officers, directors, employees, agents, servants, and trustees, represented to the ABU students,including the Plaintiffs, that ABU was fully accredited and could provide such degrees. The Defendants did not advertise or otherwise disclose the pending problems to any student or purposed member of this class.

ABU further represented to the students that they would or could receive such degree upon completion without disclosing that completion would be impossible at ABU. Such representations were made verbally to the Plaintiffs and were also made in the printed materials distributed by Defendants to the ABU students, as well as on ABU’s website. The students were informed or otherwise made aware by ABU that it would not be in operation on or about August 3, 2023.  Just days before classes were set to begin. Upon information and belief, class were to start on August 21, 2023.

ABU’s information/website/brochures given to, or otherwise made available to, students when they entered ABUimplied that ABU is committed to delivering meaningful services, programs, and opportunities for interaction,maintaining the highest ethical standards, and upholding academic integrity through an active assessment program. These advertisements were made while ABU was strongly considering shut down and knew it would likely shut down. In fact, while knowing shut down was all but guaranteed, ABU demanded that employees continue to solicit, recruit, and encourage transfer of students from other schools to ABU. 

Despite the knowledge of the extreme financial hardship and the strong likelihood of terminating operations, and guarantee of closure,  ABU continued to solicit money from students, continued to recruit students to transfer to ABU, and continued to complete financial aid packages on behalf of students to secure money from such students and members of this class. 

At this time the claims filed on behalf of students including the following:


COUNT I                Breach of Contract

COUNT II               Breach of the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

COUNT III             Fraud

COUNT IV             Constructive Fraud

COUNT V              Intentional Misrepresentation

COUNT VI             Negligent Misrepresentation

COUNT VII            Unjust Enrichment

COUNT VIII        Unconscionability

COUNT IX             Breach of Fiduciary Duties

COUNT X              West Virginia Consumer Credit & Protection Act

COUNT XI             Punitive Damages

COUNT XII            Duress, Undue Influence and Economic Loss

Of course, no class action has been certified. This statement does not guarantee representation by my firm of co-counsel’s firm.  We cannot guarantee recovery and cannot provide compensation for expenses to any current client, or purposed class member. 

I have provided a contact page for persons that are interested in periodic updates outside named class representatives. By completing the form, we do not guarantee representation. We have had dozens of calls, and messages from multiple parities that have been harmed. 

The form is located at