Georgetown University No Refunds for Campus Closure Class Action

Should students pay the same tuition to finish their semesters online as they paid for in-person classes? Should they pay for dorm rooms they cannot occupy? This class action brings suit against Georgetown University for refusing to provide refunds relating to the closure of its campus to avoid the spread of Covid-19.

The class for this action is all persons enrolled at Georgetown for the Spring 2020 term who paid, in whole or in part, tuition, fees, or room and board for in-person instruction and use of campus facilities, but who were denied this instruction and use by Georgetown.

The plaintiff, named only as John Doe, enrolled for the Spring 2020 semester as an MBA student at Georgetown’s School of Business.

Georgetown’s website touts its learning opportunities, which include “lectures, small group projects, independent studies, office hours, internships and more[.]”

The complaint quotes its website as saying, “We live at the intersection of teaching and doing, where learning is more than the transmission of knowledge, it is an act of collaboration and practice. Under the mentorship of our distinguished faculty, you’ll go beyond the information…”

As to its MBA program, the school says, “Team work is emphasized throughout the program.” None of the Executive MBA courses, it says, “are completed online.”

Nevertheless, that’s how MBA students must now complete them. In mid-March 2020, Georgetown decided to close its campus and move classes online until the end of the semester.

The complaint cites a number of specific losses for John Doe:

  • The students have a “complete inability to continue school as normal, occupy campus buildings and dormitories, or avail themselves of school programs and events.”
  • They now have “a limited online experience presented by Google or Zoom, void of face-to-face faculty and peer interaction, separated from program resources, and barred from facilities vital to study.”
  • They have lost “a key, pre-pandemic component” of their education in “the direct, in-class interaction and discussions among professors and classmates, with classmates bringing individual experiences to help understand materials and business case learning.”
  • Also, “professors cover less material,” with one indicating that he will drop 20% of the intended course material.
  • Group projects have changed from “collaborative, discussion-based interactive projects” to “occasional Zoom calls for the purpose of dividing work and deliverables…. Groups no longer white board ideas, collaborate as a team, share experiences, or provide constructive criticism to each other.”
  • Students no longer get guests lectures from “high-level executives.”
  • A program has been in cancelled in which John Doe was going to be part of a group that “travel[led] overseas to help a company solve a problem set, with the university paying all expenses except student [] airfare.”
  • Students have had to put up with technical difficulties involving the switch to online classes.

John Doe paid tuition for the semester of $30,784. The complaint alleges that the university should provide at least proportionate refunds of tuition, housing payments, and activity fees.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Georgetown University No Refunds for Campus Closure Complaint

May 21, 2020

Should students pay the same tuition to finish their semesters online as they paid for in-person classes? Should they pay for dorm rooms they cannot occupy? This class action brings suit against Georgetown University for refusing to provide refunds relating to the closure of its campus to avoid the spread of Covid-19.

Georgetown University No Refunds for Campus Closure Complaint

Case Event History

Georgetown University No Refunds for Campus Closure Complaint

May 21, 2020

Should students pay the same tuition to finish their semesters online as they paid for in-person classes? Should they pay for dorm rooms they cannot occupy? This class action brings suit against Georgetown University for refusing to provide refunds relating to the closure of its campus to avoid the spread of Covid-19.

Georgetown University No Refunds for Campus Closure Complaint
Tags: Covid-19 Related, Education, Failure To Pay For Refund