A proposed class action claims Northeastern University has unlawfully retained full tuition and fees for the Spring 2020 semester despite transitioning to online classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In mid-March, Northeastern announced that all classes at its Massachusetts campuses would be moved to an online format for the remainder of the semester and directed students who lived in residence halls to move out by March 17, the suit says. While students paid specifically for an in-person college experience that included face-to-face interaction with faculty and peers and access to campus facilities and services, Northeastern has failed to provide such for the second half of the semester, according to the case.
As the case tells it, the learning options afforded by Northeastern amid the COVID-19 crisis fall far short of those students paid for through tuition and fees.
“The online learning options being offered to Northeastern students are subpar in practically every aspect, including the lack of facilities, materials, and access to faculty,” the case reads.
The plaintiff, a graduate student, claims she paid roughly $16,000 in tuition and fees for an in-person educational experience that the school is no longer providing.
Tuition and fees for an in-person education at Northeastern are notably higher than the amounts charged for the school’s online certificate programs, the lawsuit notes, arguing that the difference in price indicates that tuition covers more than mere academic instruction. The plaintiff asserts Northeastern’s remote learning options are “in no way the equivalent” of the in-person experience proposed class members contracted and paid for.
The lawsuit looks to recover a pro-rated portion of tuition and fees for the Spring 2020 semester for those who paid for in-person educational services that Northeastern failed to provide and who have not received a refund.
Northeastern University joins dozens of colleges and universities across the nation that have been named in proposed class action litigation filed by parents and students who claim they’re owed tuition and fee refunds for the shortened Spring 2020 semester.
ClassAction.org’s coverage of COVID-19 litigation can be found here and over on our Newswire.