(CN) – The Idaho Supreme Court rejected a laid-off Micron worker’s demand for federal assistance for a $41,000 executive MBA program, saying she could achieve the same results with a $14,000 traditional MBA program.
Ruth Creps was laid off by Micron Technology in 2007. She applied for funds from the Federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program (TAA), designed to help workers who lost their jobs due to international trade competition.
The Industrial Commission upheld the Idaho Department of Labor’s determination that the executive MBA program at Boise State University, which costs $41,000, is not significantly different than the traditional program, which costs $14,000.
The executive program is designed for students with more work experience. It features smaller, more integrated courses.
On appeal, the state Supreme Court agreed with the Industrial Commission that Creps’ needs could be served by the less expensive program.
“The fundamental similarities between the two programs, particularly the common degree, bring the programs into the realm where the Department of Labor’s limited discretion in disbursing TAA funding comes into play,” Justice Joel Horton wrote.
“We are unable to conclude that the Industrial Commission erred in determining that the traditional MBA program was a less costly equivalent to the Executive MBA program,” he added.