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Arizona Board of Regents sued for not refunding fees after coronavirus

Arizona Board of Regents sued for not refunding fees after coronavirus

From the A collection of the Daily Sun's coronavirus coverage series
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Helping Hands

In this 2019 file photo, freshmen students enrolled in The Edge leadership program wear gold T-shirts as they help fellow students move into their dorm rooms on move-in day at Northern Arizona University.

The Arizona Board of Regents has been sued in a class action lawsuit for refusing to refund student fees after the coronavirus caused universities to move instruction online for the spring 2020 semester.

Adam Levitt, an attorney representing the students in case, said the class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of thousands of college students who allege they are facing steep financial pressures during the coronavirus, according to a law firm of DiCello, Levitt and Gutzler's press release. The student fees in question relate to room and board fees, Levitt said amount to $10,780 at Northern Arizona University. ASU and UA have fees that are approximately $3,000 higher.

Levitt said the universities took the right action in stopping in-class teaching, but that students need a refund.

“It is unconscionable for them to attempt to keep the many thousands of dollars in room and board fees they collected from each student, even though they have terminated the services that these fees covered,” Levitt said in a press release.

As of Friday, 1,300 students were living on campus out of the normal 8,000 on Northern Arizona University, which doesn’t include privately owned on-campus dormitories. Students have created online petitions asking for refunds for the month of school students are not attending and for refunds or credits to apply to next semester.

University of Arizona has offered nominal rent credit options amounting to 10% of 2019-2020 housing costs or 2020-2021 housing costs. The attorneys felt that would drive additional revenue to the school and require student to commit to living on campus in future semester to obtain the benefit of the percentage discount option. NAU and ASU have not offered any refund of feeds.

The Arizona Board of Regents did not immediately respond for comment on Saturday.

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