From the Associated Press:
They wanted the campus experience, but their colleges sent them home to learn online during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, students at more than 25 U.S. universities are filing lawsuits against their schools demanding partial refunds on tuition and campus fees, saying they’re not getting the caliber of education they were promised.
The suits reflect students’ growing frustration with online classes that schools scrambled to create as the coronavirus forced campuses across the nation to close last month. The suits say students should pay lower rates for the portion of the term that was offered online, arguing that the quality of instruction is far below the classroom experience.
Colleges, though, reject the idea that refunds are in order. Students are learning from the same professors who teach on campus, officials have said, and they’re still earning credits toward their degrees. Schools insist that, after being forced to close by their states, they’re still offering students a quality education.
These colleges might as well be telling us that watching porn is just as good as actually having sex (..ok, honestly a lot of times for gals the porn watching is sadly better, but I digress), or that playing Call of Duty is just as badass as real war. And they're right - zoning out for several months of remote learning is simply not the same as zoning out while physically in the classroom. You can't compare.
Really though I 110% agree with the students and feel like a lot of the schools being sued so far could spare a couple bucks to make partial refunds a reality... Among some of them so far are Drexel, Berkeley, Vanderbilt, Purdue, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Michigan State, and University of Colorado, Boulder. At least give the damn campus fees back to people Brown, I know you can do it.
Other students are having a bit more luck and some schools were quick to get crackin' on refunds before they were even asked. From HigherEd.com:
…Smith College, Harvard University and Amherst College, announced almost immediately that students would receive prorated room and board refunds. Many others have come up with partial refund plans in the following weeks, which have been met with praise by some students and with lawsuits and petitions by others.
On a final note, for all the stories I've been reading about some professors just dumping workloads into the portal & phoning it in instead of teaching, others are stepping up to the plate doing as much as they can to keep students going.