Are Class Action Lawsuits the Best Way to Get University Tuition Refunds?

As the COVID-19 outbreak of 2019 became a global pandemic in the spring of 2020, not a single industry or other human endeavor was left unaffected. Not to say devastated. The world of higher education was, if anything, hit even harder than most. That, in turn, led to a spike in demand for university tuition refunds.

MyChargeBack has been dealing with an unprecedented number of cases related to university tuition refunds. Not to mention numerous other coronavirus-related financial disputes.

University campuses around the world have shut their doors. But many of them created — on the fly — alternate arrangements to effectively provide for the instruction of their students. In most cases this involves online classes. It should go without saying that the quality of the educational experience has suffered despite the universities’ best efforts.

Is Distance Learning an Adequate Substitute?

There’s simply no comparing the real live classroom setting to Zoom, with all due respect to the latter. And that’s not even including seminars, not to mention laboratory hours. Add in the social aspect, the intellectual debate, and so much more. When you do, it becomes clear why distance learning has always been so much cheaper, as well as so much less popular. But for the time being, it’s the only option.

Students report that it’s not so bad when the Zoom classes approximate the real thing. “Not great, but not bad,” is what we hear. But at some universities students complain that they have no opportunity to interact with their professors and classmates during lectures. Why? Because many of those lectures are pre-recorded.

The Big Money Is in Tuition

The bottom line is that thousands of students, in America and around the world, feel they deserve university tuition refunds. Many of them report being appalled at the insufficient, insignificant, or even non-existent refunds they have been offered. Something is better than nothing. Nevertheless, it usually amounts to no more than a prorated discount on food and housing. But the big money is in tuition. And the answer students increasingly hear is the same: Online education is equal to the classroom experience. And the cost will be the same as what they initially signed up for.

In response, more and more students — with the help of expensive high-profile law firms — choose the judicial route. Generally, that means class action lawsuits to recover the money they claim they are owed. Among the defendants are many of the top public and private universities in the nation. These include Duke, Emory, Penn State, UC Berkeley, and at least 20 others. The list will only grow.

It’s easy to have sympathy and feel the pain on both sides of this dispute. The disruption caused by the pandemic has spared few enough. But the bottom line is that it is unfair and unreasonable to expect students to pay a premium price for a discount product.

The Legal Process Is Expensive and Slow

At the same time, it’s worth asking whether the one-size-fits-all solution of the class action lawsuit is the best strategy in every case. Certainly, professional guidance and assistance is far preferable to navigating the treacherous bureaucracy and entrenched inertia alone. The law firms taking these cases, however, are expensive. And the judicial process may be glacially slow.

That is why parents and students turn to a financial services firm like MyChargeBack for assistance. We occupy the perfect middle ground. We are faster, more agile and far cheaper than the alternative, without sacrificing professionalism and skill.

Depending on the details of your case, MyChargeBack may have a solution for you. A free no-commitment consultation will determine if it does.