The University of Connecticut has refused to issue refunds for tuition and fees for the Spring 2020 semester cut short by the COVID-19 crisis, according to a proposed class action.
The plaintiff, whose daughter is an undergraduate student, claims the education provided by UConn after the school transitioned to online classes in March has been “subpar in practically every aspect,” falling far short of the experience for which students paid. Nevertheless, the university has stated on its website that no refunds will be provided for Spring 2020 tuition, the suit says.
The case alleges the online learning opportunities at UConn are “a shadow of what they once were” due to the absence of in-person instruction and access to facilities and resources that were previously provided at the school’s several campuses.
“Students have been deprived of the opportunity for collaborative learning and in-person dialogue, feedback, and critique,” the complaint claims, noting that programs such as music, theater, nursing, and the sciences, for which in-person instruction is “especially crucial,” have been some of the hardest hit.
Moreover, the lawsuit argues that tuition and fees at UConn are higher than those charged by online institutions because the costs are meant to cover services and resources that extend beyond mere academic instruction. Students’ access to campus facilities such as libraries, laboratories, computer labs, and study rooms, as well as activities and opportunities such as extra-curricular sports, clubs, and mentorship opportunities, encompass “an entirely different experience” that the case stresses is no longer being provided by UConn.
The plaintiff says the school announced on March 12 that all classes would transition to an online format on March 23, the first day after spring break. From March 13 through the end of the semester, no in-person classes will be held at UConn, the case says.
The lawsuit looks to recover those who paid tuition and/or fees to UConn for the Spring 2020 semester for in-person educational services that the university failed to provide and who have not been refunded.
ClassAction.org’s coverage of COVID-19 litigation can be found here and over on our Newswire.