On June 22, 2020, a full-time graduate student at Harvard Law School filed a class-action lawsuit against the Ivy League university. The plaintiff seeks tuition reimbursement after campus closures reduced what should have been a premium educational experience to a lackluster online learning environment.
To date, Harvard has declined any tuition reimbursement requests for the spring 2020 term, despite its massive $40 billion endowment. Students have a hard time reconciling tuition costs of $23,865 to $36,720 with the Zoom-powered remote learning which was, according to the lawsuit, “void of face-to-face faculty and peer interaction, separated from program resources, and barred from facilities vital to study.”
The complaint refers to Harvard’s apparent insensitivity to the fact that students who paid for the Harvard experience—complete with access to facilities, faculty, materials, and engaging interaction with other students—are not getting their money’s worth.
Furthermore, the complaint effectively chastises the institution’s administration for “reaping the benefit of millions of dollars” while students and their families struggle to pay for “inferior” education. Allegedly, students were advised to rent office space to counter the challenges of studying in an off-campus environment.
Besides missing out on the academic excellence associated with a traditional, campus-based Harvard education, students who signed up for room and board are shelling out additional big bucks for things the university has not provided since COVID-19 safety measures prompted the campus closure on March 13, 2020.
The law firm of Levin Papantonio is accepting clients who were attending a public or private college or university which school system switched its on-campus courses or living arrangements to off-campus. The firm is seeking reimbursement for the money paid for on-campus courses and for room, board, meals, various fees, and other services.