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Mountain State settlement checks go out next week

Charleston Gazette-Mail file photo The lead attorney in the class-action lawsuit against Mountain State University, once headquartered in Beckley, said more than $11 million in settlement money will be sent to plaintiffs in the case starting next week. Hundreds of former students were left with nontransferable college credits and non-accredited degrees after the private college closed in 2012.
Charleston Gazette-Mail file photo
The lead attorney in the class-action lawsuit against Mountain State University, once headquartered in Beckley, said more than $11 million in settlement money will be sent to plaintiffs in the case starting next week. Hundreds of former students were left with nontransferable college credits and non-accredited degrees after the private college closed in 2012.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Checks will go out sometime next week to the about 2,000 former Mountain State University students who are due payment as part of a more than $18.5 million settlement with the now-closed school.

That’s according to Charleston-based attorney Anthony J. Majestro, the lead lawyer who represented former students in their class-action lawsuit against the private school, which hundreds sued. Three judges on a mass litigation panel approved the settlement in late February.

MSU had campuses in Beckley and Martinsburg before it closed in December 2012, after the Higher Learning Commission made the extraordinary decision to pull the school’s general accreditation after years of it failing to correct major problems in leadership, program evaluations and campus governance.

Students claimed they were left with credits that wouldn’t transfer to other institutions and degrees from an unaccredited school. Education officials said the decision by the commission — a corporation charged by the U.S. Department of Education to ensure colleges are upholding education standards in providing regional accreditation in West Virginia and 18 other states — was unprecedented in West Virginia.

The portion of the settlement dedicated to students, which topped $11 million, will be distributed through a point system based, generally, on the number of credits students were left with that wouldn’t transfer to another school…

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