Students across the country are suing their colleges in pursuit of a refund on tuition for the spring semester since classes have been moved online in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Suits have been filed against more than 25 public and private institutions including Berkley, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Columbia, Cornell and the University of Colorado, Boulder, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
USC students sue for tuition and dining refunds amid coronavirus disruption https://t.co/WsJ94y1wOm
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) May 6, 2020
A suit against Vanderbilt University claims that class discussion has been stonewalled and the “quality and academic rigor of courses has significantly decreased,” AP reported. A charge against the University of California, Berkley, said some professors are only uploading assignments, and not providing video instruction.
A few of the suits highlight the institution’s massive financial reserves, claiming that the schools are “unfairly withholding refunds even while they rest on endowments that often surpass $1 billion,” AP reported.
“I don’t understand why these universities feel the need right now to hold onto something that frankly doesn’t belong to them,” Colorado attorney Igor Raykin, representing a student who filed against the University of Colorado told The Hill.
A spokesman for the University of Colorado, Ken McConnellogue, said that “it’s disappointing that people have been so quick to file lawsuits only weeks into the pandemic. He said the suits appear to be driven by a small number of opportunistic law firms,” AP reported.
While the main focus of the cases is a refund on tuition costs, students are also seeking reimbursement for access fees related to gyms, libraries, labs and other buildings which have been closed.
Schools are largely refusing that refunds are necessary, with officials claiming that students are learning from the same professors who teach on campus, AP reported. The institutions contend that students are still being offered a valuable education and that they’re earning credit towards their degree.
The University of Vanderbilt, the University of Colorado Boulder, and the University of California, Berkeley did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.