Student sues Jacksonville University for fees paid during coronavirus shut down

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville University student has filed a federal lawsuit against Jacksonville University.

Ashley Allen of California is suing because the school hasn’t refunded tuition, fees, or room and board following the shutdown due to the coronavirus last spring.

Even though students continued to receive instruction online, Allen said when the school shut down she and other students were deprived of what they paid for. On-campus services were no longer available to them.

Students were kept from accessing campus facilities and in-person instruction for approximately 36% of the semester for which they had contracted, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit also draws a distinction between online distance learning programs offered by the university, and the in-person instruction these students had signed up for which became online learning.

The lawsuit points out that the university touts the benefits of the campus, the location and the on-campus experience.

The lawsuit also claims JU got $2.2 million in CARES Act funding, at least half of which is required to be used for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations, but, the suit claims, the school plans to keep that money rather than passing it along to students.

Allen is represented by an attorney from South Florida.

They seek to make it a class-action lawsuit.

Students at more than 25 U.S. universities last year filed lawsuits against their schools demanding partial refunds on tuition and campus fees, saying they’re not getting the caliber of education they were promised.

A university spokesperson said it was still looking into the lawsuit but added the school typically doesn’t comment on matters that are under litigation.