A Harvard Law student’s suit states that charging $65,875 to attend online classes is ridiculous, according to Above the Law.
Harvard Law announced that all of its Fall 2020 classes would be given online due to ongoing health concerns of the coronavirus pandemic.
Remote vs. classroom learning: Should you pay the same tuition?
The announcement made at the beginning of June made Harvard Law the first law school in the US to offer remote-only learning for the upcoming semester. Although HLS students have been learning remotely for the past several months, the school has decided to keep tuition at $65,875 for the 2020-21 academic year.
Harvard Law instituted pass/fail grading during the height of the COVID-19 crisis. This will be eliminated for the upcoming semester, reverting back to regular grading. Students who were worried about lack of space to work remotely were reportedly told to take out more loans and “rent office space” for studying.
Many students are very angry, and one has decided to take what he learned during his first year at HLS and filed a class-action lawsuit against the school.
Abraham Barkhordar had to move home to California in the middle of the Spring 2020 semester due to the COVID-19 crisis. He felt that waking up at 5am to attend online classes and being unable to use the library or participate in study groups put him at a disadvantage, and his grades began to suffer.
Barkhordar says he felt “overall disrespected and unheard by the administration,” and is suing HLS for “breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and conversion.” Barkhordar told ABC News, “This is one of the oldest, most prestigious law schools in the world. And that they’re hanging their students out to dry – and that they’re suggesting us to rent office space with our own money – is frankly ridiculous. And I’m glad the justice system gives me an opportunity to stand against it.”
Fall 2020 students: Should you defer admission?
Harvard Law has given incoming and current students the option of deferring their education for a year. Barkhordar’s suit, which is seeking more than $5 million for members, states that choosing between paying “outrageous tuition” for remote learning or interrupting their education isn’t really a choice at all.
According to the suit, “Plaintiff and Class Members did not intend to attend an online educational institution, but instead enrolled in Defendant’s institution on an in-person basis. The online learning option Defendant offers is subpar in practically every aspect. The remote learning option is in no way the equivalent of the in-person education putative Class Members were promised when the committed to attend Harvard.”
Harvard Law School has yet to respond to the suit.
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