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Parent of George Washington U. Student Sues School Over Inferior Online Classes

Parent of George Washington U. Student Sues School Over Inferior Online Classes

“Despite sending students home and closing its campus, G.W. continues to charge for tuition and fees as if nothing has changed”

Colleges are going to have a tough time charging the same amount of tuition they did before the pandemic.

WTOP News reports:

Parent of George Washington University student sues, says online classes inferior

The father of a student at George Washington University has filed a federal class-action lawsuit, claiming the school’s closure during the coronavirus pandemic resulted in less-rigorous online tuition, and deprived her of other aspects of college life.

Mark Shaffer’s suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeks reimbursement for tuition, room and board, and other fees he paid at GW, where a semester typically costs more than $25,000.

As cases of the novel coronavirus spread, the university began closing its campus in mid-March. By March 16, all on-campus events were canceled for the remainder of the semester.

“Despite sending students home and closing its campus, G.W. continues to charge for tuition and fees as if nothing has changed, continuing to reap the financial benefit of millions of dollars from students,” according to the suit.

While students enrolled and paid for a comprehensive academic experience, the suit alleges they have received far less: “A limited online experience presented by Google or Zoom, void of face-to-face faculty and peer interaction.”

The suit said Shaffer’s daughter, and other students affected by the campus closure, have been deprived of in-person office hours with professors, involvement in student clubs and access to laboratory equipment, an experience which they “did not bargain for.”

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Comments

healthguyfsu | May 6, 2020 at 2:56 pm

Tuition does not cover any of those services paid by fees. It does cover access to laboratory equipment, but if they are referring to independent research, it is done tuition-free. They only case she might have is for the fees and for tuition if their student was paying for independent study credits.

    Geologist in reply to healthguyfsu. | May 6, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    If I signed up for live in-person classes, and they are delivering on-line classes only, I would feel ripped off.

    And there is a large part of the college experience that requires in-person presences, everything from interactions with dorm senior advisers to academic advisors, study groups, fraternities, art exhibits, theater productions, athletics, etc. Take a look at the college’s brochures to see exactly what they were promising! Campus life is a big part of the experience, and the colleges sell it. But now they are not providing it.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | May 7, 2020 at 12:39 am

10 percent of college-bound HS seniors who had planned to enroll at a four-year college before the COVID-19 outbreak have already made alternative plans. 3% of HS seniors plan on making next year a gap year.

26 percent of college students said they were unlikely to return to their current college or university in the fall, or it was “too soon to tell.”

85% of college students this spring express that they hate online classes.

Considering that incoming freshmen are probably 30 to 40 percent of the college population I can easily forsee that most schools could see 40% enrollment drops this autumn.

Inside Higher Education

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