Seton Hall University is among the latest institutions to face potential class action litigation over its alleged refusal to refund students for the part of the COVID-19-shortened Spring 2020 semester during which in-person classes were not available.
According to the case, Seton Hall has improperly retained the full amount of students’ tuition and fees despite transitioning to online classes on March 11 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The plaintiff, an undergraduate student, claims the online education he’s received for the second half of the semester pales in comparison to the in-person education that he paid for in tuition costs.
According to the suit, the tuition and fees paid by students to attend the New Jersey university are meant to cover access to in-person instruction, facilities such as libraries and computer labs, extra-curricular activities and clubs, and mentorship and network opportunities, among other services and resources. Noting that the plaintiff paid over $10,600 in tuition and fees to attend Seton Hall for the Spring semester, the complaint says that none of the in-person instruction, facilities access, services or resources for which students paid have been available while the campus remains shut down.
The lawsuit argues that although Seton Hall did not have a choice to cancel in-person classes in light of the global COVID-19 crisis, the school has unlawfully chosen to retain funds for services it is not providing.