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Rutgers Pandemic Tuition Settlement Gives Students $63 Each

NEW BRUNSWICK – Rutgers University has settled a lawsuit brought by a parent who objected to payment of full tuition and fees for on-campus in-person learning during the spring 2020 semester, when all courses have been delivered online.

The university was forced to close most in-person classes at the start of the pandemic in March 2020 by an executive order from Governor Phil Murphy, prompting many students to leave campus. Students had to pay the same tuition fees as if they were taking classes normally.

A parent who paid the full tuition filed the class action lawsuit says the school reaped all the financial benefits while her daughter was denied a ‘full academic experience’ which included in-person events, classes, programs and face-to-face meetings with faculty, according to the complaint.

In a settlement reached in October, Rutgers agreed to pay $5 million, which will be divided among approximately 59,000 students who have paid full tuition for the semester. This equates to $63 per person.

A Rutgers police officer wears a mask

A Rutgers police officer wears a mask (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Rutgers Admits No Wrongdoing

A website created about the settlement said active students will receive a credit on their next tuition bill while inactive students will receive a check. Students can opt out of the settlement, change their payment option, or object to the settlement and request a hearing.

Those who accept payment of the settlement waive the right to their own legal action against the university on the issues raised in the lawsuit.

The university denies any wrongdoing in reaching the settlement.

A Rutgers spokeswoman said the university had no comment on the settlement.

Hagens Berman has similar lawsuits pending against 18 other colleges, including New York University, Harvard, Boston University and Quinnipiac.

Contact journalist Dan Alexander at [email protected] or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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