DC lawyer takes on universities over pandemic-related refund demands

Dozens of colleges and universities are finding themselves on the receiving end of lawsuits from students and parents demanding refunds for tuition paid for in-person classes moved online during the pandemic.

The lawsuits could turn into class actions, which could include thousands of plaintiffs.

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Yve Golan, a D.C.-based attorney for The Golan Firm, has filed lawsuits against half a dozen schools on behalf of students and their parents, including Yale, Tulane, University of San Diego and University of Rochester. The lawsuits have the same main claim.

"They're not getting the service that they paid for," said Golan.
Golan filed the USD lawsuit this month.

The lawsuits allege breach of contract and unjust enrichment on behalf of the schools for keeping tuition and fees associated with the expected in-person experience.

Golan notes many of the schools offered online courses at significant discounts before the pandemic.

Beads hang from tree limbs on the campus of Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

"My problem really is with the schools continuing to charge students 100 percent tuition even though the schools could no longer provide the services that the students were paying for," said Golan.

Some schools have offered discounts related to the pandemic, but the lawsuits allege the schools have not paid back what students and their families are owed.

Similar lawsuits have been filed against American University, Georgetown and GWU.

In June, American University told its student newspaper, The Eagle, that although classes had moved online students still had access to expert faculty and academic supports.