The University of Delaware will face students in court after a federal judge green-lights their class action lawsuit. The student’s lawsuit alleges that the university breached its contract and was unjustly enriched when thousands of students were unable to attend in-person classes in the spring of 2022 due to the pandemic lockdown.
The roots of the lawsuit arise from the spring semester of 2020, when students were charged tuition for in-person classes yet were unable to attend in-person due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent implementation of campus shutdowns. The students seek partial refunds for the tuition they paid, citing that prior to the pandemic, tuition for online courses was less expensive than that for in-person classes. The students allege the university failed to make adjustments for the costly tuition despite the fact that in-person classes were subsequently canceled.
The university’s attornies told Eastern Pennsylvania Court of Appeals’ Judge Sephanos Bibas that the students lacked standing and claimed the university could not tell which students paid tuition and which students used scholarships. Bibas was not convinced by these arguments and allowed the class action lawsuit to move forward.