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Students have been urging universities to cut tuition fees Since the beginning of the epidemic. In some campuses, students organized strikes. The others decided to sue.

EdSurge decided to see how these efforts worked. Here are some highlights.

Many lawsuits have failed

A run order record on file Last year 240 tuition refund lawsuits were filed. But the judge ruled that the student had no place. Just this week, a U.S. District Court judge in Massachusetts dismissed a lawsuit against Harvard University after discovering that students had no evidence that they were promised face-to-face courses. Reuters report.

This seems to be the standard of the course, including:

  • The University of the Pacific has been in court since May last year. “Unjust Enrichment” Case Hired by bias This month.
  • Brown University, along with three other Rhode Island universities, escaped a class action breach of contract lawsuit. Be fired March.
  • Texas A&M system, where the plaintiff Voluntarily give up Class action in November.

“At this point, it seems that most lawsuits have been dismissed before going to court or jury,” said Robert Kelchin, chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, Management and Policy at Seton Hall. “The reason for this seems to be [COVID-19] This is an unexpected situation. The students still get the main fee they paid, which is credits. “

Kelchen said that considering the far-reaching impact of online courses, judges are reluctant to weigh the quality of online courses and face-to-face teaching.

He said: “If there is a precedent that says’the court says they are of lower value’, this may affect how much universities charge for online degrees,” he said, adding that such a sigma may prevent students from enrolling in online courses.

This is not to say that every case is hampered, Kelchen noted that the courts are still catching up with the pandemic’s backlog of cases.A judge in the Southern District of Florida allowed a lawsuit against Miami University carry on. Southern New Hampshire University Agree Nearly 1.3 million US dollars to resolve the class-action lawsuit it faces, and Columbia University is settle down Overcharge with students.

The tuition strike continues

Anna Attie graduated in the same semester when she founded the University of Chicago for fair tuition in the spring of 2020, when about 200 students went on a tuition strike. Although the leadership of the University of Chicago has never met with students about their request for tuition waivers, Artie believes that the university’s 2021-22 tuition freeze is a victory—even if it is short-lived. She said that a bigger victory was that the student community contacted her in the hope of organizing a strike at their own university.

“We think this is something we can put on the map as a strategy that students can use to regain power and have a say in what is happening in their university,” Atty said. “Our goal is not just tuition and the University of Chicago. All the sports we see in the university, even if the organizers don’t talk to each other, they often contact each other. They are all to redistribute the power of the university.”

Other campuses where students have organized similar strikes are:

  • Columbia University
  • New York University
  • Vassar College

Approximately 1,000 Columbia University students withheld tuition fees this semester.They and another 4,500 supporters Claim The university has reduced attendance costs by at least 10%, and has increased financial assistance by the same number, as well as a series of community and transparency initiatives.

“This is not just a strike about online classes or students being upset because they have to pay full tuition,” said Townsend Nelson, who helped organize the strike as the co-chair of Columbia-Barnard’s Young American Democratic Socialists. “This was triggered by the pandemic, but the students have been trying to solve many problems over the years.”

Although students Voting ends They held a one-semester tuition strike in April, and Nielsen thought it was a success.The university announced in January that it would Stripping from fossil fuels, One of the demands of the strikers and announced a plan Raised 1.4 billion US dollars Financial aid for a few days after the strike ends.

“I think this is out of the general desire of students to reshape the direction of higher education, and I think Columbia University is just the spearhead in this regard,” Nelson said. “Tuition will only become more expensive, student education will become more and more commoditized, and everything has become an empty transaction. We hope that education hardly reflects the quality of human nature.

It seems that Attie and her former classmates will have the lasting impact they want. Inspired by the fair tuition of the University of Chicago, Vassar College The students are planning to hold a make-up lesson in the fall.

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