California Baptist University faces a proposed class action filed by a student who claims the school has wrongfully refused to issue refunds for tuition and fees paid for the pandemic-truncated Spring 2020 semester.
According to the 10-page lawsuit, the Riverside, California university canceled all in-person education on March 13, 2020 and commenced online learning on March 30, following spring break recess. Although California Baptist has failed to provide the in-person educational experience for which students contracted and paid, the school has refused to issue refunds for tuition and fees, the case alleges.
“Plaintiff and the Class did not enter into an agreement with Defendants for online education, but rather sought to receive in-person education from Defendants’ institution,” the complaint argues, contending that students are owed pro-rata refunds for services that were not provided.
The plaintiff, an undergraduate student, says he paid upward of $18,000 in tuition and fees for the Spring 2020 semester with the expectation of receiving in-person educational experiences, services and opportunities from approximately January to mid-May 2020. Instead, the defendant failed to provide such for roughly 45 percent of the semester, the case charges.
“As a result of Defendants’ closure,” the complaint reads, “Defendants have not complied with their obligation to provide in-person educational services along with other experiences, opportunities, and services Plaintiff and the Class paid for.”
The case, which echoes a flurry of lawsuits filed against colleges and universities over their apparent refusal to issue refunds for the COVID-19-shortened spring term, looks to cover anyone who paid tuition and fees to California Baptist for in-person educational services, experiences and opportunities during the Spring 2020 semester.
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