Students’ COVID-era lawsuit over in-person fees is moving forward
On July 25, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that students can pursue a lawsuit against Loyola University Chicago for failing to refund in-person fees.
The plaintiffs allege that students paid 265% more in tuition than their already-online peers after being forced to learn remotely.
On July 25, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that Loyola University Chicago students can pursue a lawsuit against the school for failing to refund in-person fees after classes were canceled due to COVID-19.
The ruling came after a lower U.S. District Court dismissed the suit in January of 2021, arguing that the plaintiffs, parents of the relevant students, have no standing to sue, and that students never received “a specific promise” for in-person instruction.
When classes at Loyola University were transitioned online in Spring of 2020, students enrolled in what were originally in-person classes paid $1,050-$1,838 per credit hour, according to the Seventh Circuit decision, while students already enrolled in an online class continued to pay the original $693 per credit hour.
Plaintiffs charged that they were forced to transition to an online educational experience of lower quality, and paid 265% more in tuition than their already-online peers.
When Loyola’s campus closed, students also were not issued a refund for parking permits, according to the lawsuit. An annual parking permit for the 2019-2020 school year was $530.
The amount of money that Loyola University would have to return to its students, should the lawsuit succeed, could exceed $5,000,000.
Similar lawsuits have been brought against universities around the country since Spring of 2020.
Loyola University has not responded to comments requested by Campus Reform.