Students Sue Harvard Citing ‘Subpar Online Learning Options’ During Coronavirus Pandemic

by Maria Copeland


On Wednesday, students sued Harvard University for not refunding tuition and fees after the coronavirus pandemic forced classes online.

This makes Harvard at least the fourth Ivy League school to be targeted for failing to reimburse educational costs, following Brown, Columbia, and Cornell. The school is facing a $5 million federal class-action lawsuit.  Students chose to pursue legal action as a result of not having “received the benefit of in-person instruction or equivalent access to university facilities and services.”

“The online learning options being offered to Harvard students are subpar in practically every aspect and a shadow of what they once were, including the lack of facilities, materials, and access to faculty,” the lawsuit reads. “Students have been deprived of the opportunity for collaborative learning and in-person dialogue, feedback, and critique.”

Harvard confirmed awareness of the suit in a statement to Campus Reform, although the university had no further comment on the situation.

Harvard’s use of its finances has already been called into question with regard to its handling of the coronavirus shutdown.

In April, the university faced controversy over the allocation of CARES Act funds, which it eventually turned down, expressing in a press release concern “that the intense focus by politicians and others on Harvard in connection with this program may undermine participation in a relief effort that Congress created and the President signed into law for the purpose of helping students and institutions whose financial challenges in the coming months may be most severe.”

The move to decline funding followed public pressure from lawmakers; initially, Harvard had announced that it would accept the money.

At that time, Harvard stated that it “remains fully committed to providing the financial support that it has promised to its students.”

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Maria Copeland is Virginia Campus Correspondent for Follow maria on Twitter at @mariatcopeland.
Photo “Harvard University” by Samuel Fisch.











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2 Thoughts to “Students Sue Harvard Citing ‘Subpar Online Learning Options’ During Coronavirus Pandemic”

  1. apple Orch

    Ya know, EVERYTHING has been sub-par during this alleged virus situation. Why do the sniveling rich brats think they are entitled to full blown education when the kiddos in kindergarten got an even worse standard during formative brain development years? It isnt that I disagree the college kids got less than their typical year – but c’mon.

    BTW the young ‘college aged men’ back in 1940 got some pretty substandard uniforms, meals, sleeping arrangements and many wounded or killed on foriegn soil…. maybe bits and pieces sent back in a body bag… yeah … … it kinda makes me wanna puke on the ivy league brats… what right do they have t complain – …

  2. 83ragtop50

    I am pleased to learn that college students are calling out the schools for the quality of online classes. There is no substitute for being in a classroom with a live professor and your peers. I assume that quality of online education for elementary and secondary schools is a lot worse.