Carnegie Mellon University owes tuition and fee refunds to students whose Spring 2020 semester was transitioned online as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, a proposed class action claims.
Filed by an undergraduate student, the 15-page lawsuit says the university announced in early March that all classes beginning March 16 would be held remotely for the remainder of the semester. The plaintiff claims that although the remote education offered by Carnegie Mellon is “subpar in practically every aspect” to the in-person experience already contracted and paid for, the university has refused to provide proper refunds for tuition and fees.
“The remote education being provided is not even remotely worth the amount charged class members for Spring Semester 2020 tuition,” the complaint scathes, adding that while Carnegie Mellon has refunded some mandatory fees, it has not committed to reimbursing all fees.
The lawsuit stresses that when students paid tuition for the Spring 2020 semester, they expected the funds to cover an in-person educational experience that included access to faculty, campus facilities, and peer collaboration, among other services. According to the case, Carnegie Mellon has failed to provide the services for which students paid, and has instead offered online learning options that are “a shadow of what they once were.”
The case looks to recover prorated refunds for tuition and fees to anyone who paid such for Spring 2020 in-person educational services that Carnegie Mellon failed to provide, and who has not been issued a refund.