Asked in Education Law for Maryland

Q: I enrolled and registered my two children to attend Annandale Christian School, (ACS), Laurel for 2021/22 School.

I enrolled and registered my two children to attend Annandale Christian School, (ACS), Laurel for 2021/22 School year in March which I have subsequently canceled in July. However ACS has invited my attention to a clause in the contract which was not properly explained to me at the time of signing the contract that in the event of cancelation of the contract, you are required to pay all tuition fees for servers that my children has not benefited from. Please advise.”

writing to get information on a hidden clause to a contract which was not conspicuously displayed requiring tuition fees to be fully paid in the event of a cancellation of a contact.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: This forum is not designed for direct solicitation for hiring lawyers, but you are free to search the site to locate a lawyer and then contact that lawyer to discuss potential engagement of ther services. As for your specific issue, the Maryland Court of Appeals addressed an almost identical contractual issue in the case of Barrie School v. Patch, and upheld the schools binding tuition agreement despite the parents' attempt to terminate the tuition contract prior to the start of the school year. Here is a link to a law review article discussing the case, its reasonong, and the contract principles involved:

You may wish to have a lawyer more carefully review the contract for any possible distinctions between your contract provisions and the one in the above case, but it is likley your best option would be to try and negotiate with the school on a settlement of the tuition owed. The parents in the above case not only had to pay the full tuition, but the court also enforced the attorney's fees and costs provision and awarded those amounts against them as well, plus prejudgment interest on the debt.

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