Ohio Supreme Court considers whether college students should get refunds from COVID disruptions
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The COVID-19 pandemic forced colleges and universities to pivot to remote learning and some students believe they deserve refunds because they didn’t get the education they paid for.
That fight has now reached the Ohio Supreme Court. The justices are specifically reviewing a case involving an Ohio State University student. It was filed as a class action representing all OSU undergrads who were enrolled during the Spring 2020 semester.
The student was refunded part of her room and board payments along with a recreational fee. However, she argues that the University shouldn’t have charged students full price for tuition without providing full in-person instruction.
OSU says it wants the case dismissed arguing that the decisions that were made can’t be contested in court, claiming it has immunity from those types of lawsuits.
“There certainly are circumstances where there would be a full refund. This isn’t one of them,” said John Gall, the lawyer representing Ohio State University. “There is no difference between online instruction and in-person instruction.”
The outcome of the case will have a domino effect on similar suits filed against other universities including Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo.
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