A proposed class action out of Connecticut claims Quinnipiac University students are owed refunds for tuition and fees paid for the Spring 2020 semester cut short by the COVID-19 crisis.
The plaintiff, a film major, claims that although she and others paid for and expected to receive “a comprehensive academic experience,” Quinnipiac failed to provide what was bargained for after transitioning to online classes on March 18 after an extended spring break. The suit alleges Quinnipiac continues to reap millions of dollars from proposed class members by refusing to issue tuition and fees refunds for a “limited online experience” devoid of face-to-face interaction with faculty and peers and access to campus facilities and programs.
“Defendant does so despite students’ complete inability to continue school as normal, occupy campus buildings and dormitories, or avail themselves of school programs and events,” the lawsuit claims. “Plaintiff and the Class Members did not bargain for such an experience.”
The plaintiff says she specifically chose to attend Quinnipiac in person “for the variety of educational experiences that only an in-person program can deliver,” not to mention that her degree program was not offered online. According to the case, the education provided to the plaintiff decreased in quality after the school shut down its several Connecticut campuses and transitioned to online learning, in particular given many of the student’s classes were conducted in a studio or utilized Quinnipiac’s film recording and editing equipment prior to the pandemic.
Further, after transitioning to online learning, students in the plaintiff’s classes no longer had access to resources such as Adobe design and editing software and were robbed of opportunities to participate in planned group projects, the lawsuit says. According to the suit, the plaintiff was directed by the school to use her personal cell phone to “try to record a film festival worthy project.”
Although Quinnipiac has offered refunds for housing and dining costs for departing students and credits for returning students, the school has yet to provide prorated refunds for tuition and fees paid in exchange for services that were not provided, the suit alleges.
The lawsuit comes on the heels of a wave of litigation filed against universities and colleges over their alleged refusal to issue refunds for the truncated Spring 2020 semester.
ClassAction.org’s coverage of COVID-19 litigation can be found here and over on our Newswire.