CINCINNATI (WKRC) – As some students start returning to college campuses, others are beginning the semester at home. Either way, the majority of students and their families are paying full price for the college experience, and they don’t like that, so many are suing their schools, saying they’re being cheated.
More than 150 schools are currently facing lawsuits. Locally, two were facing that challenge, but a lawsuit against Miami University is expected to be dropped.
Now, Xavier sits alone being challenged by students of the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (ABSN) for tuition reimbursement from lost time in clinicals and labs this past spring when the coronavirus stopped in-person education. A total of 480 nursing students have joined the suit.
Attorneys representing plaintiff and ABSN student Ximena Miranda declined to comment about the case. Xavier University did release a statement about the lawsuit:
“Xavier was recently made aware of this class-action lawsuit brought by a student in our ABSN program on the basis of changes made to the program this spring in response to the coronavirus pandemic. We will be reviewing and responding to this claim. Xavier is proud of the tremendous efforts undertaken by our faculty, staff, and students earlier this spring, as we all worked to provide a Xavier education in a remote format.”
While the Xavier ABSN students want their money back, students around the country are looking for a price break.
“It just doesn't make sense to be paying such a high amount for something that not being used to the full advantage,” said Rutgers University junior Shreya Patel.
Petitions for reduced tuition are circulating at dozens of major universities operating in remote learning. NYU Professor Scott Galloway says students have a valid point when asking to pay less for a lesser college experience.
"Universities have backed themselves into a corner. And that is, we have raised tuition, on average, two-and-a-half fold over the last 20 years,” said Galloway.
Advocates for universities say they've lost millions during the pandemic.
"Every institution of higher education in the country has suffered losses. Room and board, the international students, the hotel, the bookstore, all of those have just largely disappeared,” said Senior VP of the American Council on Education Terry Hartle.
The Xavier suit also looks to prevent the university from charging future students for services it does not provide, like hands-on nursing experience during remote learning.