There are at least 50 high school houses in the United States that have been sued by students demanding refunds. Will there be a return to school?
The cost of education College has long been baffling in the United States, where a year of higher study costs tens of thousands of dollars.
But as the coronavirus crisis, students, many of whom borrow heavily to finance their degrees, wonder how to justify spending $ 70,000 a year on lessons through the application of video calls Zoom.
They feel like they are hurting and are holding their universities accountable. “We’re paying for other services offered by the campus that are not digitized“says Dhrumil Shah, who is doing a master’s degree in public health at George Washington University. The 24-year-old student took out loans to pay for part of his two-year program in the US capital. In a few days he will get his diploma, but There will be no traditional graduation ceremony.
Shah has signed one of several petitions they demand some kind of refund. “I think the quality of service decreased,” Shah, a Chicago native, told AFP.
He complains that the move to distance learning, due to current Washington stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of the deadly virus, resulted in a loss of educational structure and supervision.
“It prepares the person going through that experience for failure,” he says, admitting that he has become “drastically” unproductive without the responsibility of the classes in person.
Shah is not alone. Many students have lamented that their quintessential American college experience has been lost: No sunny afternoons on college fields playing frisbee, no classes in high-tech labs, no crazy nights.
Molly Riddick also signed a petition demanding that her study house, New York University, make some kind of gesture to compensate her students. “No matter how much the NYU insists otherwise, it is simply not possible to provide a complete education in performing arts through Zoom“he noted in a comment on change.org.
Some students have taken their complaints to courts. In a lawsuit to which the AFP had access, Adelaide Dixon accuses the University of Miami of granting her a diploma with a “decreased” value due to the nature of online courses.
Thus, he filed a lawsuit against his university for several million dollars, on behalf of about 100 students. At least 50 study houses and universities Americans were defendants for similar reasons.
Demands and refunds
Some universities offered reimbursements for meals and rooms that students did not occupy
Universities generally remained silent in public about these Judicial actions. But those who have spoken insist that they are caught in an unprecedented and difficult situation caused by the pandemic.
While some partially reimbursed to students for room and board, as many left campus in mid-March, none have gone so far as to reimburse some of the tuition for the spring semester.
And the problems could get worse. What will happen in late summer or early fall (boreal) when classes would generally resume? Will 20 million students return to American campuses? In university circles, the debate is intense.
“I look forward to coming back,” says Ashwath Narayanan, 19, who attends George Washington University.
He assures that university officials promised to give him better information in the next 10 days, but he admitted: “I am mentally preparing not to return”
It’s kind of hard to imagine how life on campus could go back to something akin to normal, as if the virus crisis didn’t exist.
“Dorms and cafeterias would have to be treated like supermarkets at this time”, practicing social distancing and putting on a bunch of hand sanitizer, Shah says. And that seems difficult.
Pamella Oliver, president and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Fullerton, sentenced in a virtual conference: “We assume that in the fall, we will be virtual“
But for many schools, offering a virtual future puts additional pressure on students and their parents, who often pay the bill, especially given the dire economic situation in the United States.
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