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Stratford refunds for H.S. “diploma” program

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Did you get a high school “diploma” from Stratford Career Institute or are you currently enrolled in its high school program? If so, you want to read this. 

Last February, the FTC sued Stratford Career Institute for misleading advertising of its high school program. Today, the FTC announced that Stratford has agreed to return money to people it allegedly deceived.   

According to the FTC, Stratford’s advertising led people to believe that a diploma from its high school program could be used in the same way as a traditional high school diploma, and would help them further their education and get a job. Instead, many found that Stratford’s “diplomas” were useless. They couldn’t use them to get accepted into college or to get a job. Now Stratford has to return money to those who enrolled on or after January 1, 2011. 

If you enrolled in Stratford’s high school program on or after January 1, 2011 this is what you should do:

  • If you paid for the program in full, go to to learn how to possibly get some money back. 
  • If you have not finished paying for the program, you should receive a notice from Stratford letting you know how to cancel. When you get this notice, you must tell Stratford within 30 days if you want to cancel your enrollment. If you cancel within this time period, you won’t owe any more money to Stratford and you could be entitled to a partial refund.  You should receive this notice by February 14, 2017. Look for:
    • an email from Stratford with the subject line “Your Enrollment in Stratford Career Institute, Inc.’s High School Diploma Program” or
    • a message in the Message Center located in Stratford’s eService online student center with the subject line “Important Message About Your Enrollment”

This refund program applies only to those who enrolled with Stratford on or after January 1, 2011. For more information go to If you want to know more about avoiding a high school diploma scam, read this FTC article

Note: This post was updated on February 1, 2018 to say that “…Stratford has agreed to return money to people it allegedly deceived.”

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Thank you FTC for helping these people (victims) who trusted the institution, Stratford, to do what they said they were going to do. The victims were defrauded and left with nothing.

It appalls me to see knowledgeable educated people take advantage of people who are less fortunate, less educated and desperate for an education. The institution financially benefitted and gained because of the victims lack of accurate information. This is disgusting on behalf of Stratford's mission and philosophy.

There should be some other form of compensation awarded to the victims of this educational fraud. The victims have paid far more than their original asking price of the tuition.

Let's hope that Stratford will step up and do more than refund their money.

Thank you FTC for your excellent and much appreciated hard work! Thank you for speaking up for the victims!

That's good a lot of money I want to have too a little hehe

This is no help to people like me who paid but signed up in 2006 and was mislead by them all Stratford says is the FTC only told them to pay student from 2011 and after so anyone before gets nothing they are offering me yo sign up for there new high school program again and waste more money no help at all I want my money back to

I took the course for 2 different classes back in 2004. We should get refunds also. They should have to shut down. People spend money on this in Hope's of furthering their education and it's not getting us ahead.

I agree. I also signed up in 2006. But I am entitled to nothing not even a diploma I worked hard for.

put them all in jail for the time it took them to steal honest money and we don't get it all bak so they should do time you all broke the law god bleess them

Thank you for your advocacy, FTC! Glad you were able to obtain compensation for the victims of this awful fraud.

What about former students who enrolled prior to 2011? Do they have any recourse if they've been told by colleges or employers their Stratford HS diploma is not acceptable? Thank you.

Nope no help or Money back I was told they don't have to refund us sense my class was 2006

I am losing my job because of this. My job is state regulated and I have to have a legit high school diploma which I thought I had. Just to find out its not accredited and I no longer will have a job after Dec. I feel like I've worked hard for nothing!

Same things happened to me today. I am so upset that I am now being suspended from my job because my diploma isn't worth anything. Now I have to get my diploma from my local community. I won't get any money back because it was before 2011 and I will have to pay again. I can get my GED for free. I am angered and I think they should pay everyone that got released from work because their diploma was not real. That is $500 down the drain. I am furious

There are difference kind of stradford colleges.Ftc need to explain which ones there talking about.There are a bunch of colleges with same names.

I want to say Thank You so much FTC for helping us. And also Thank Sam for all your dedication work. They gave us false dreams and hope. I hope they realize what they have done to people and never do it again. Some people depended on that and now I have to start over. Thanks again

And on behalf of the FTC staff, thank you to all the people who report problems that could be frauds or scams. The complaints you file at provide details about what's going on in the marketplace, and those details help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies with investigations.

If you have a consumer problem - like a product or service that doesn't live up to its advertising, or a call from a fake IRS agent or debt collector - please report it to the FTC.

My wife just got a check for $26.How does that help with the $900+ spent on this program? That is just adding insult to injury.

We all got the same amount of money, $26.74 i paid a total of $689.00 and just called and they said that's all we are gonna get back i was almost done with my classes only 4 classes left i was really looking forward to go to college. Realizing i wasted all this time and all my money.

I had to do the same with my daughter luckily I stop paying them once I found out they were not accredited, but my other daughter I paid the whole amount and all they sent me in refund was $26.00 wat is that out of 600 dollars.

Please ,help me because now I am enroll with Stratford caree institute waiting to get my high school diploma ,I can apply for refund

FTC, thank you for the vital information & pushing it out there; it's greatly appreciated! Stratford has clearly blew my mind with this scam. Big disappointment SCI

I need info on this I am 28 and my only goal was to get my diploma ihave been paying this school and recovering books for the last 7months JST to now be told it was all for nothing I live pay check to pay heck and now have paid for something that was a lie

Thanks so much now I need this removed from my credit report they saying I owe I paid collection agency and still no Diploma. I knew something wasn't right But now I am GLAD FTC IS SUEING THEM

thank you for share this post

What about if we owe money to them and it's showing on our credit report

If you enrolled in the high school program on or after January 1, 2011, and you cancel your enrollment within 30 days after you get the notice from Stratford, Stratford can't pursue collection efforts against you. Then,after you cancel the enrollment, show the credit reporting companies Section V. Paragraph B of the FTC's Order in this case. And ask Stratford to change the information it reported to the credit reporting company.   

In general, people who want to cancel their enrollments and avoid paying more money to Stratford should cancel enrollment with Stratford right away, and dispute the debt with the credit reporting companies. Show the credit reporting companies Section V. paragraph B of the FTC's Order in this case.

I was considering them for medical billing and coding specialist thank you

Why do the government let them continue take money from people. They approved there case why are they still open as of Feb 2017.

Thank you so much for investigating this school, they told me that it was a good Diploma and when I graduated I could use it to enroll in college. Thank you for busting them for who and they really were.

What should should I do to get my $ back ? I've already filed a complaint.

How did you file a complaint?

i was dealing with this so called school for over a year and i had to call them about my account and they never said anything. then i had my boyfriend look at a message i received and had to call them back the next day to cancel everything. they just need to shut them down for good and be done with it

It's sick my dad passed away last August I took 5months off work plus all the time from family to do all my school work for nothing we deserve more not starting all over I can't Ford it am so hurt deserving more.

Why is this company still in business, and the officers not in jail?

Please can someone tell me when are we getting our refund from Stratford institute

The refund program is only for people who enrolled on January 1, 2011 or after that day.

If you enrolled in Stratford’s high school program on January 1, 2011 or after that day, and you fully paid for the program, go to

If you enrolled on January 1, 2011 or after that day and you haven't finished paying for the program, Stratford should send you a notice telling you how to cancel.

It is a good thing for the people who will get a refund. What about people like me who did it before that date? I paid a lot of money for NOTHING!!! It is total BS... If they are fraudulent than they shouldnt be in business..

I know how you attorney is seeking legal action

Do you think that this policy is written in a nefarious manner? I read it over ,about 5times and its to abstract for me to correlate. I mean, it speaks in volumes about enacting regulations, but it undermines other sequester plans.

Thank you for investorgating this school!I was enrolled for my High School Diploma

funny because I never got my refund to this day still waiting but its suppose to start in 2017 its almost 2018

Was wondering when they plan to issue refunds also

This refund program applies only to those who enrolled with Stratford on or after January 1, 2011. If you paid for the program in full, go to to learn how to possibly get some money back.  You can sign up to get e-mail updates about the Stratford refund program.

This applies to me and I have yet to receive a refund or an update. The last update was that the refunds should have started around February 2017. What is happening with this? I would just like to be informed.

The refunds have not started. You can sign up to get e-mail updates about the Stratford refund program.

I only got 26 dollars left is that all i am getting refund back from 600+

$26.94? I spent close to $1000

The refunds have not started. You can sign up to get e-mail updates about the Stratford refund program.

Why only refunding people from Jan 2011? I got my High school diploma from Stratford back in 2007 and it was completely useless with anywhere I applied for employment, and tried to get a refund back then but they just kept sending me new brochures. Fast forward to 2018, I always wondered if anything came of this obvious my surprise, they will refund but only after people who have enrolled since 2011. THIS IS COMPLETELY UNFAIR to those who spent their money (that they probably didn't have to start with; for me in particular I was a new mother to twin daughters at that time and all we had was my husband's income, which was not much!). I feel like we should be refunded top! Every single person who paid or is currently enrolled at this so called institute that promises high school diplomas as well as degrees in various professions SHOULD BE REDUNDED! This place should not even be a legitimate business if it is worthless to it's students!!! Lesson learned!

I paid for the full high school diploma program which was over $600 and I received a partial refund check in the mail for only $26.74. I agree that the suit should have included people that paid for the program before 2011, but Stratford should be forced to refund all of the money.

I got my refund check today $26.74 smh I cant even believe it right now I paid $951.96 that is nothing to what I paid I didn't have the money in the first place to really do it but I knew I needed to do it for my family I have six kids and I just lost out on all that money.NEVER WILL I EVER DO THIS AGAIN!

I paid over $600 before I got the email about the lawsuit. I got my refund check today for a whole $25.23. Everyone is still getting ripped off from them because I am still out $600.


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