July 23, 2021

Former Notre Dame Student Sues School, Seeks Tuition, Fee Refund For Online Classes During Pandemic

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE

A former University of Notre Dame student has filed a lawsuit against the school seeking a refund on tuition and fees for the spring 2020 semester after classes were moved online due to the pandemic.

Recent graduate Evan Slattery filed the suit in federal court earlier this week. He’s seeking prorated refunds for the spring semester’s tuition of $27,523 as well as over $250 in mandatory student fees.

That includes a $75 Health Center Access Fee, a $125 Technology Fee, a $6 Observer Fee for the school’s student newspaper and a $47.50 Student Activity Fee.

The semester ran from January to June 2020, but Notre Dame moved all classes online in mid-March due to the pandemic.

Slattery’s suit argues that students paid tuition for an in-person learning experience, and the shift to online classes did not provide the same level of value.

“The educational experiences and services offered to Notre Dame students was materially different in practically every aspect as compared to what was promised,” the suit says.

It also alleges that the university did not reimburse any of the mandatory fees which went to facilities or services students no longer had access to such as the student health center.

The suit was filed as a class action, which means any student who attended the university during spring 2020 can join.

The university did reimburse students a prorated amount for the spring semester’s room and board fees last year.

Slattery’s lawsuit against Notre Dame is one of hundreds filed by students across the country seeking tuition reimbursement due to the pandemic. Many of the cases have been dismissed, but some are going to trial — although most legal experts agree they face an uphill battle in the courts. Both Indiana University and Purdue University face similar suits.

Contact Jakob at jlazzaro@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @JakobLazzaro.

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