Judge Dismisses Tuition Refund Suit
Santa Clara University (SCU) has won in a tuition refund suit brought by three law students.
U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh dismissed the putative class action on Monday in which the three law students requested that the university reimburse tuition and fees because classes moved online during the COVID-19 pandemic. The judge ruled in favor of SCU stating that the school never explicitly promised students in-person classes. According to Judge Koh, SCU may have made “general promises” or “created expectations,” but never explicitly promised that students would receive in-person classes, Law360 reports.
STUDENTS SAY UNIVERSITY FAILED TO DELIVER
The three students sued SCU back in June and claimed that the university advertised via course materials and its website that it would provide in-person instruction but failed to deliver after the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
However, the students’ suit was ultimately dismissed with the judge ruling that the students “inadequately pled a specific promise” and had agreed to terms and conditions that stated SCU would not issue tuition refunds as a result of “curtailed services resulting from strikes, acts of God, civil insurrection, riots or threats thereof, or other causes beyond the control of the university.”
“California law is clear: Unjust enrichment is not a cause of action,” Judge Koh stated.
Across the country, law students at schools such as Harvard Law and Cal Western Law are taking law schools to court over the high tuition costs amidst virtual learning.
The class action against Harvard Law is seeking upward of $5 million for members, claims breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and conversion.