A proposed class action claims the University of Florida has unlawfully refused to issue refunds for tuition and fees paid for the COVID-19-shortened Spring 2020 semester.
Filed against the University of Florida Board of Trustees, the lawsuit alleges that the education provided by the school after transitioning to online classes is no longer worth the amounts students paid in tuition. Though the university is still providing “some level of academic instruction” through online classes, the lawsuit claims students are owed reimbursement for part of the tuition and fees paid in exchange for an education that the University of Florida has “failed to fully provide” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the suit, students’ tuition and fees were meant to cover not only academic instruction, but “an entirely different learning experience” that includes face-to-face interaction with faculty and other students, access to campus facilities, activities and clubs, and networking and mentorship opportunities. The case asserts the University of Florida has retained the full amount of students’ tuition and fees while failing to provide the services and resources for which the funds were already paid.
“As a result of limitations Defendant has imposed, Defendant has not delivered the services that Plaintiff and the putative Class contracted and paid for,” the complaint states.
Moreover, the case argues that the value of any degrees issued for online classes—many of which the suit points out have transitioned to a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading system—will be diminished for the rest of students’ lives.