USC Closed Campus, No Refunds Class Action

This is one of a number of class actions against universities and colleges who have closed their campuses but have not provided students with refunds. The complaint alleges that the University of Southern California (USC) has ended on-campus classes, closed facilities, and sent students home due to Covid-19, but has not refunded them a prorated portion of the tuition and fees they paid for the semester.

The class for this action is all persons who paid USC tuition or fees for in-person education or who paid USC for unused and unrefunded meal plans for the Spring 2020 semester.

USC, a private university in California, had an enrollment in 2019 of around 20,000 undergraduate and 28,000 graduate students. It is not a poor school; it has a $6 billion endowment and is said to be the twenty-second wealthiest university in the US. Tuition is high; the complaint alleges that undergraduate tuition is over $57,000, and, while graduate tuition varies, it can be similarly expensive. These amounts do not include other expenses and fees, such as dormitory and meal costs and activity fees.

In addition, USC has received $19 million from the government through the Covid-19-related CARES Act. The complaint says half of this amount is supposed to go to “students who are in need of emergency financial assistance.” The complaint alleges, “As a result of [USC’s] actions, students who do not meet academic progress requirements for the Spring semester, and international and undocumented students, will be denied access to these funds.”

On March 11, 2020, USC suspended in-person classes, switching to online instruction. The suspension has been extended through the end of the academic year. The school announced on April 28 that it would not be giving students refunds for the period after the school closed its campus.

With the campus closed and classes being held exclusively online, the complaint says that USC has “not provided the education, services, facilities, technology, access or opportunities” that students paid for. In addition, meals plans that students paid for have been suspended.

According to the complaint, the classes are “substantially less valuable” than the in-person classes students had been promised.

The plaintiff for this class action, Latisha Watson, is studying for a master’s degree in social work, but she will not be able to take advantage of the school’s libraries, student organizations, or opportunities for field work.

The complaint alleges, “Essentially, students have paid [USC] for access to buildings they can no longer enter, technology the University is not providing, activities that are not available, and meals that will never be served. USC is thus profiting from Covid-19 while further burdening students and their families, many of whom have borne the brunt of the pandemic, themselves been laid off, or who are ill or suffering from financial setbacks.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

USC Closed Campus, No Refunds Complaint

May 5, 2020

This is one of a number of class actions against universities and colleges who have closed their campuses but have not provided students with refunds. The complaint alleges that the University of Southern California (USC) has ended on-campus classes, closed facilities, and sent students home due to Covid-19, but has not refunded them a prorated portion of the tuition and fees they paid for the semester.

USC Closed Campus, No Refunds Complaint

Case Event History

USC Closed Campus, No Refunds Complaint

May 5, 2020

This is one of a number of class actions against universities and colleges who have closed their campuses but have not provided students with refunds. The complaint alleges that the University of Southern California (USC) has ended on-campus classes, closed facilities, and sent students home due to Covid-19, but has not refunded them a prorated portion of the tuition and fees they paid for the semester.

USC Closed Campus, No Refunds Complaint
Tags: Closed Campus, Education, Failure To Pay For Refund