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Boston University Students Sue For Refund, Claiming Online Education Inferior

This article is more than 1 year old.

Two Boston University students have filed separate lawsuits against the school for a refund of tuition, fees and room and board.

One student, Julia Dutra, a full-time undergraduate student from New Jersey, filed a class action lawsuit in Boston federal court. A graduate student in social work, Shakura Cox also filed a separate class action lawsuit against BU Thursday.

"[T]he value of any degree issued on the basis of online or pass/fail classes will be diminished for the rest their lives," the Dutra complaint states.

Dutra is suing BU for closing its campus in March. She recognizes in her lawsuit that BU did the right thing by closing campus and moving to online education, but says the decision deprived her and other students of the benefits of on-campus education.

"[S]ome professors are simply uploading pre-recorded videos that offer no student/teacher interaction, and in some instances, professors are simply posting assignments online with no video at all," according to the complaint.

Dutra is demanding that BU refund tuition for the second half of the spring semester as well as fees. BU has offered to refund room and board from March 22 on, when the university closed the campus, but she is demanding that the university refund an extra week, because following the school's advice, she left campus for spring break on March 9 and never returned.

Boston University did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Full disclosure: Boston University owns WBUR's broadcast license.

This article was originally published on April 30, 2020.

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Fred Thys reported on politics and higher education for WBUR.

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