Class-action lawsuit targets LSU for refunds after pandemic cancels ‘in-person’ experiences

LSU Interim President Dr. Tom Galligan says the transition back to campus life will be a...
LSU Interim President Dr. Tom Galligan says the transition back to campus life will be a gradual process and won't happen overnight.(WAFB)
Updated: Jun. 11, 2020 at 4:40 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A woman who claims to be an LSU student asked a federal judge to order the university to refund portions of its students’ tuition and fee payments.

The woman’s potential class-action lawsuit says the university has not returned, or offered to return, money paid for “in-person educational services, experiences, opportunities, and other related collegiate services” that were not fulfilled because the university closed in early March, as cases of COVID-19 were reported in Louisiana.

The university continued to provide online instruction to students.

The lawsuit states the woman, however, “did not enter into an agreement with [LSU] for online education, but rather sought to receive in-person education.”

Information provided on LSU’s website explains, “LSU is not able to issue refunds for fees at this time. To make services available on the first day of the semester, we have to make commitments for several months in advance and your fees go to securing those commitments, as well as covering other ongoing obligations. While students are not physically on campus, the university must still provide for faculty, counselors, and other academic support staff to continue your education as well as maintain the physical campus. There are also unanticipated costs of shifting the modes of instruction, such as information technology (e.g. ProctorU) and supplementing support staff. Many of the services students are paying for are still in operation and available, and these fee revenues enable us to keep our workforce employed and working. To keep the university functioning for you and meet the obligations of the current semester, we must utilize revenues committed at the beginning of the term. But we pledge to still provide you with the high-quality education that you deserve, from the state’s flagship university.”

If certified as a class-action, other students would potentially be able to enjoin themselves in the lawsuit.

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