Demands for refunds form part of debate about college costs

Hands-on learning. Face-to-face interactions. Study sessions in the student union. Workouts in the student gym. That’s what students said they signed up for – and were required to pay for – when they attended universities across the United States last spring. But, they argue, it’s not what they got once the coronavirus drove them off campus. And now they want their money back, writes Kristina Davis for the Los Angeles Times.

Class-action lawsuits calling for partial reimbursement of tuition and fees are continuing to amass nationwide – from Ivy League institutions to goliath state university systems to small private colleges – with potentially hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.

And while the litigation will ultimately be decided on legal questions, the lawsuits are also serving as a backdrop for a larger conversation about the value of a four-year degree, whether earned in a traditional college setting or online, and the soaring costs often associated with it. “There have been these questions about value bubbling under the surface for a long time, and the pandemic burst that wide open,” said Tamara Hiler, director of education for Third Way, a centrist think tank that has polled on higher education policy and attitudes.
Full report on the Los Angeles Times site