There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all areas of our lives, including higher education. But are these institutions taking unfair advantage of the situation?
Despite requiring distance learning for the spring 2020 semester, some colleges and universities are refusing to credit students for any part of their tuition payments. They claim that students “got what they paid for” and that the schools can’t bear the burden of repayment.
But in reality, these students and their families paid for a full college experience, not for internet videos and Zoom classrooms. Plus, colleges are certainly in a better position to bear this burden than their students are.
On top of that, many schools are still pocketing fees—like technology, health center, and athletic fees—even though students didn’t have access to those facilities or services for the full year that they paid for.
Finally, some schools are even keeping students’ prepaid on-campus housing fees. That means that students and their families had to pay for housing even in the months where the schools mandated that students leave the dorms.
Is this fair? Is this right? The answer to these questions could depend on the contract you signed with your higher education institution as well as the law in the state where your school is located.
But at the end of the day, if you feel you’ve been cheated and you want to know your rights, the best thing you can do is empower yourself by discussing these concerns with a lawyer.
Because your school might just owe you money back.
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