I am a Junior in college and I have a history of mental health hospitalizations while in college. I went to the hospital earlier this semester because I didn't realize I was having a panic attack. When I returned, the Dean of Student Life told me I was being withdrawn from the school.

I convinced them to let me stay, but there was a contract I was supposed to sign, which included "agreeing to use College's health center as the initial point of contact for all medical needs; use of our counseling center for support and/or referral; agreeing to see our contracted physician and/or psychiatrist if deemed appropriate; always notifying us if you seeking medical treatment at any time; attending all classes; communicating with the Health Center and/or Student Life for any need you may have. In addition, should you find yourself ill, EMS will be called and transport will be by ambulance. As I shared, if you waiver at any point or your medical needs are outside the scope of what College can provide to you and the resulting needs become disruptive to the community, you may be involuntarily withdrawn from the College."

Is that even legal? The contract never materialized, but I'm worried it will. What should I do if it does surface?

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    Does the college provide a health plan for its students? (If it is then the motive could be cost control of hospitals v. student health center, which is probably reasonable can, if it doesn't, then it is less clear what the motive for the contract would be.)
    – ohwilleke
    May 4, 2017 at 23:18

1 Answer 1


It would largely depend on their "or else" leverage, and whether this is a government vs. private school. A government school has more limited ability to tell you what to do (being an agent of the government), and there has to be some statutory underpinning for any restrictions they would impose on your liberty. They may require you to have some form of medical insurance and may require you to seek treatment under certain circumstances: depending on the nature of the incident that this is a response to (in particular, what kind of disruption may have arisen).

A private school can require pretty much whatever it wants, as long as the act is generally legal (they cannot compel you to steal). They cannot unilaterally change the terms of their contract with you, but you'd have to do some digging to figure out what contract if any you have with them.

In either event, if they can legally expel you, they can impose conditions on what you have to do in order for them to not expel you.

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