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University of Chicago settles student COVID lawsuit for $5,000,000

Students argue school should return part of their tuition due to shutdowns

Students who sued the University of Chicago for tuition refunds due to COVID-19 closures have reached a nearly $5 million settlement agreement with the school.

The private Illinois university finalized the class-action lawsuit settlement with the students last week, agreeing to pay $4.95 million, according to the Chicago Sun Times.

Students affected by the university’s 2020 decision to switch to online classes due to COVID-19 could receive $25 or more from the settlement, the report states.

“The university is proud of the rigorous educational experience and support it provided to students when it moved to remote learning for spring quarter 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the university said in a statement to the Sun Times. “The university believes plaintiffs’ claims are without merit and looks forward to putting this matter behind us.”

The settlement is not an admission of liability by the university, the agreement states.

Former students Arica Kincheloe and Alexander Castro filed the federal lawsuit in 2020, arguing the university should return a portion of their tuition as a result of the shift to remote classes, a preliminary agreement states.

Universities have faced a number of lawsuits from students and employees related to administrators’ decisions during the COVID-19 crisis.

Similar cases involving tuition and the switch to online classes have resulted in settlements at Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Colorado.

Other cases have been dismissed, but a student’s lawsuit against Lafayette College in Pennsylvania is on-going.

Meanwhile, another lawsuit by medical freedom experts and students is challenging aspects of Santa Clara University’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for incoming freshmen, The College Fix reported.

In a different lawsuit, a tenured professor sued the University of Southern Maine, alleging she was fired after questioning its mask mandate, The Fix reported last year.

MORE: 48 colleges nationwide still require COVID vaccine

IMAGE: Breizh Atao/Shutterstock

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About the Author
Micaiah Bilger is an assistant editor at The College Fix.