The University of Colorado Boulder and the institution’s Board of Regents should refund certain tuition fees and other costs for the coronavirus-shortened Spring 2020 semester, a proposed class action lawsuit contests.
According to the 13-page case, UC Boulder has announced it will offer pro-rated refunds for room and board fees yet has “specifically refused” to refund or credit any portion of students’ tuition payments. The school has retained the money despite depriving students of services and access to campus facilities for which they have already paid, the complaint says.
The plaintiffs, a full-time UC Boulder student and her tuition-paying father, argue that the school’s suspension of in-person activities and shift to an online academic format has deprived proposed class members of the benefits of on-campus learning. Further, the plaintiffs say the value of any degrees issued on the basis of pass/fail online classes “will be diminished” for the rest of a student’s life.
Though campus was left open, the University of Colorado Boulder on March 16 joined many other institutions nationwide in asking students who live on campus to move home to their permanent addresses if they could.
Through admission to the school and payment of tuition, proposed class members entered into a binding contract with the defendants, who, in exchange for money, promised to provide certain services, including live in-person instruction in a brick-and-mortar classroom, the lawsuit claims.
“Plaintiff and other members of the Tuition Class fulfilled their end of the bargain when they paid tuition for the Spring 2020 semester,” the case says.
The lawsuit against the University of Colorado Boulder mirrors suits filed against Drexel, the University of Miami, the Arizona Board of Regents and Liberty University that allege the institutions have improperly retained Spring 2020 tuition payments despite being unable to offer the on-campus activities and services for which students have already paid.
The case looks to cover a class comprised of those who paid tuition for or on behalf of students enrolled at the University of Colorado Boulder for the Spring 2020 semester who were deprived of in-person instruction and forced to use online distance learning platforms for the last quarter of the 2019-2020 academic year. Additionally, the suit aims to cover those who paid fees for or on behalf of UC Boulder students for the Spring 2020 semester.
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