Federal judge strikes down suit against Harvard for COVID-era tuition refund
A federal judge dismissed Harvard University students’ $5 million class action lawsuit asking for a partial refund of COVID-era tuition.
The suit states that 'students have been deprived of the opportunity for collaborative learning and in-person dialogue, feedback, and critique.'
A federal judge dismissed Harvard University students’ suit asking for a partial refund of COVID-era tuition.
As Campus Reform reported in May, students filed a $5 million class action lawsuit against the elite university, claiming that “the online learning options being offered to Harvard students are subpar in practically every aspect and a shadow of what they once were, including the lack of facilities, materials, and access to faculty.”
“Students have been deprived of the opportunity for collaborative learning and in-person dialogue, feedback, and critique,” continued the suit. “The remote learning options are in no way the equivalent of the in-person education that Plaintiff and the putative class members contracted and paid for.”
As the Harvard Crimson reported on June 23, United States District Court of Massachusetts Judge Indira Talwani granted Harvard’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
Talwani explained that "spring 2020 was not a normal time" and that expecting to receive instruction and other in-person resources was unreasonable "where, during a global pandemic, the governor and public health officials dictated otherwise."
In the wake of COVID-19, universities across the United States were the subject of lawsuits from students seeking refunds after receiving different services from the ones that they were promised.
Students sued the Arizona Board of Regents, for example, stating that the state's school system was holding tuition dollars in an “unlawful and unfair” fashion.
Upon receiving a $750 refund, one Purdue University senior filed suit and argued that the compensation did not fully cover the true amount of tuition that students lost.
Campus Reform reached out to Harvard University for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.
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