My niece, a college junior, told that most students at her university are unable to register for classes they need to graduate because there aren't enough classes offered, and because of that huge majority of students cannot graduate their 4-year programs in 4 years. I checked 4-year graduation rate statistics, and indeed, her university's 4-year graduation rate is abysmal 7%. Then a quick look at the class schedule, with most classes being wait-listed, confirmed the cause of the low graduation rate.
I'm wondering: is this practice by university to under-supply required classes legal?
Here's an analogy, the reason why I think the above practice is or should be illegal. Imagine that you contracted to purchase, say, a self-assembled car, in the following manner: you pay fixed amount annually until you fully assemble it, the manufacturer ships you the parts, and as soon as you complete the assembly - the car yours. The manufacturer assures you that this is a 4-year project, and that you'll have the opportunity to complete your task in 4 years. Therefore you count of paying the annual fee for 4 years and on the ability to use the car after that. Then, well into the project, the manufacturer informs you that they don't have enough manpower to manufacture enough transmissions, so your request for a shipment of a transmission will be wait-listed. And, even though you weren't given the opportunity to complete your work, the car does not belong to you yet, and you still have to pay the annual fee. The project drags on for 5 or 6 years instead of 4 solely due to the manufacturer delays. I think in this scenario the manufacturer would quickly get sued out of business.
I think quite a few colleges in US are doing pretty much the same thing: they offer significantly smaller classes than necessary to allow their students to obtain degree in a timely manner and profit from their own shortcomings due to extended duration of each student's paid enrollment.
I am not a lawyer though, and aware that a layman's perception of fair doesn't always coincide with what's legal. In particular, the subject of fiduciary duties (which IMHO is the closest thing to a layman's definition of fair) is not quite obvious. Thus the question to the professionals.
I'm not involved in any litigation on that matter, the question is for purely educational purposes (pun intended).