Liberty High School doesn't pay off for one man

Seven On Your Side
July 11, 2008 10:46:19 AM PDT
A Yonkers father only wanted a better job so he spent hundreds of dollars getting a high school diploma through the mail. But after his employer deep sixed his new diploma it was time for Seven on your Side to go back to school to get his money back. For Rafael Lopez his high school diploma isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

"I'm frustrated, they took advantage of me," said Lopez.

Rafael's talking about Liberty High School. For about $1,300, they supply the books, the tests and if you pass, they mail you the diploma.

"I was just looking to better my education and continue it now that my kids are bigger and i have the opportunity to look to a better job," adds Lopez.

So Rafael applied to New York State Corrections for a job. He was assured by one of Liberty's reps at their downtown office, corrections would accept their diploma.

"They said you won't have no problems, the corrections will will definately accept it," he said.

But corrections wouldn't consider it.

Rafael says he was devestated, so he called Liberty asking for a refund.

Eventually Liberty promised him a refund in writing but never paid off.

"It's been very difficult, because i could have used that money, i could have had a diploma," said Lopez.

So Seven on your Side called Liberty's home office in Vermont and Lopez had his money in full, just a day later.

Now Rafael is going to school at night to get his high school diploma.

Liberty wasn't able to explain the delay but they did admit Rafael's concerns were legitimate, Saying they've received other complaints about their reps in their lower Manhattan office making misleading promises to prospective students.

The New York State Department of Education says they do not approve or disapprove any out-of-state high schools, that it's up to the individual employer or college, if you plan on pursing a higher education. Some colleges in New York do recognize Liberty as the Department of Corrections does not. So before spending money on any at home diploma program, check whether your school or employer will accept it.

STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Tappy Phillips