Northwestern University No Sound Facilities in Campus Closure Class Action

Like many universities and colleges, Northwestern University closed its campus and switched to online classes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And, like a number of other schools, it did not provide pro-rated refunds of tuition and fees paid in expectation of on-campus education for the Spring 2020 semester. The complaint brings suit against Northwestern for failing to refund money for the decreased value of the education students received in the online classes, particularly in the field of sound.

The class for this action is all persons (1) who paid tuition to Northwestern University of Illinois for a class (2) which was an in-person class, and (3) who did not receive the in-person education for which they had paid.

Plaintiff Daniel Greenwald enrolled in a program at Northwestern for an MA degree in Sound Arts and Industries for the 2019-2020 school year. He paid tuition of $65,536. The complaint alleges, “A material part of the program involves use of a studio with sophisticated equipment maintained by Northwestern University as well as other physical equipment.”

According to the complaint, Northwestern acknowledges the value of on-campus education. In a publication directed at Sound Arts students, it said that those enrolling in the program “have hands-on experience with the latest audio production technologies…”

These included “Northwestern’s state-of-the-art sound facilities, which include a newly renovated sound production lab, multiple sound editing stations, cutting-edge audiology facilities, and one of the best student radio stations in the country. Our students take advantage of a vibrant artistic and academic culture that is sustained through yearly conferences on emerging topics related to sound, as well as regular visits from world-famous professionals in sound science, sound studies, sound art, aural health and a range of sound industries.”

The same document speaks of “the opportunity to develop as innovators and collaborators” working with writers, filmmakers, artists, and performers” and a “robust internship program” as well as “a cohort of alumni and industry advisors that include executives at major Hollywood film studios and Academy Award-winning sound designers, as well as academics, researchers and entrepreneurs.”

Also available on campus was a 1,700 square foot sound studio and performance space, and state-of-the-art speaker systems for listening to recordings, audio edits, and so on. These things cannot be provided or replaced with online teaching.

On March 11, 2020, Northwestern announced that in-person instruction would not continue and that all class would move online, in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus. A later announcement said that as of 5 pm on Friday, March 20, the only people remaining on the campus should be those who were “essential to Northwestern’s ongoing operations…”

On April 30, 2020, Northwestern announced that it would not make adjustments to tuition for the Spring 2020 semester.

The counts include breach of contract and restitution based on quasi-contract.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Northwestern University No Sound Facilities in Campus Closure Complaint

August 28, 2020

Like many universities and colleges, Northwestern University closed its campus and switched to online classes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And, like a number of other schools, it did not provide pro-rated refunds of tuition and fees paid in expectation of on-campus education for the Spring 2020 semester. The complaint brings suit against Northwestern for failing to refund money for the decreased value of the education students received in the online classes, particularly in the field of sound.

Northwestern University No Sound Facilities in Campus Closure Complaint

Case Event History

Northwestern University No Sound Facilities in Campus Closure Complaint

August 28, 2020

Like many universities and colleges, Northwestern University closed its campus and switched to online classes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And, like a number of other schools, it did not provide pro-rated refunds of tuition and fees paid in expectation of on-campus education for the Spring 2020 semester. The complaint brings suit against Northwestern for failing to refund money for the decreased value of the education students received in the online classes, particularly in the field of sound.

Northwestern University No Sound Facilities in Campus Closure Complaint
Tags: Covid-19 Related, Education, Failure To Pay For Refund