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How COVID-19 Led to Refund and Lawsuits Issues

During these times, we being tested and facing all the different kinds of adversities. It is inevitable not to think about the future and wonder when and how it is going to be the final outcome.

How COVID-19 Led to Refund and Lawsuits Issues

Many students and parents are frustrated with the current situation and are appealing for ‘financial relief amid the pandemic’ claims Emma Kerr, reporter of U.S. News. Due to all classes going online, students declare they are not receiving a top-notch education worth $50k per year (NYU avg. cost of attendance 2019-2020), the situation went viral and led students to create a petition asking for refunds claiming they are not receiving vast opportunities, taking advantage of the networking, facilities nor the quality of education as before. 

The petition is called “Zoom University is not worth $50K per year” which counts with over 12,000 signatures and asks for a partial refund from the university. "The quality of education I am currently receiving from NYU Zoom classes aren't nearly as productive and valuable as what the price of it shows. The core value of NYU is to provide its students with a high level of education, and if this cannot be done in the light of the current health crisis, then charging for it seems unfair” says the junior, Parag Sheth.

In addition, NYU is not the only institution suffering from the frustration of their students and parents, George Washington University, Colorado State University, and many more are included in this large list. Besides the petition, universities such as the University of Miami and Drexel University are facing lawsuits, parents are taking legal actions against their respective colleges. Students at Liberty University has filed a suit to receive a refund for the student fees, while Arizona State’s students sued the university for their living expenses since they are not using the campus facilities. Extreme cases are taking students to also consider simply to stop paying for their tuition. 

In response to all these actions, “colleges are trying to adapt to the quickly changing landscape and many have already adopted refund policies for housing, but many more are still trying to figure out what to do” wrote Wesley Whistle, senior contributor of Forbes Magazine. Colleges are also announcing tuition discounts for the Summer and Fall Terms, recently Michigan State, University of Chicago, and many others announced that students should expect tuition freezes for the upcoming year (2020-2021).

Finally, the plans for many universities are still unknown, however “The Chronicle of Higher Education” website has conducted research by tracking the individual college’s plan and what they expect for the upcoming Fall. The future looks bright for many of them, happily the great majority plans to reopen the campus on Fall and resume classes in-person, including Kansas State University, Appalachian State, Ball State, and many others.

Only a few are still deciding and stipulated date to take the final decision, while they are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely. The idea of having a hybrid education was also mentioned by Beloit College. You can check with more details the universities who already made a statement about reopening in Fall here.


Nathalia Sato
USP Certified Advisor

Work Cited & Sources

“'I Didn't Pay to Attend Zoom': College Students Call for Tuition Refunds, Discounts.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report,

Whistle, Wesley. “College Students Sue For Refunds Amid Coronavirus.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 19 Apr. 2020,

Staff, Chronicle. “Here's a List of Colleges' Plans for Reopening in the Fall.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 23 Apr. 2020,

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