A proposed class action lawsuit has been filed against Fordham University on behalf of those who paid tuition and other fees for the Spring 2020 semester disrupted by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Filed in New York’s Southern District, the 15-page lawsuit claims Fordham tuition payers should receive refunds given they’ve been deprived of the benefit of the education, access to facilities and other opportunities for which they’ve already paid. Further, the complaint argues that the online learning options offered by the Bronx, New York school during the pandemic are “subpar in practically every aspect” and in no way equivalent to the in-person academic instruction contracted and paid for by students.
According to the lawsuit, Fordham has announced that it will not refund any tuition for the Spring 2020 semester, and will reduce only some fees by 50 percent. The suit says Fordham has not held in-person classes since March 9 and required students to leave campus no later than March 22.
The plaintiff contests that the remote learning environment necessitated by the COVID-19 outbreak is “not even remotely worth the amount” Fordham has charged proposed class members for the Spring 2020 semester. Depending on the area and level of study, Spring 2020 tuition costs at Fordham ranged from more than $11,000 to beyond $30,000 plus fees, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit looks to have Fordham disgorge itself of the pro-rated portion of students’ tuition and fees (or at minimum a portion thereof) proportionate to the amount of time remaining in the semester after in-person instruction was suspended and students ordered off campus.