A class-action has been filed against Georgetown University for continuing to charge students for tuition and room and board despite the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the university to close campus.
The suit, filed May 21 in U.S. District Court in Washington, is seeking at least partial reimbursements for tuition, fees, and room and board after the school made the switch to educating its students online.
"Despite sending students home and closing its campus(es), defendant continues to charge for tuition, fees, and/or graduate room and board as if nothing has changed, continuing to reap the financial benefit of millions of dollars from students," the suit alleges.
The suit argues that it is not the students' responsibility "to bear the cost of the impact of the coronavirus on academic resources."
In addition, since Georgetown is ranked 61st in NACUBO's 2019 study of the top endowments in the U.S., the suit also argues that the university "is financially qualified to endure this national emergency" and urges the school "to do the right thing."
The suit seeks a trial by jury.
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, the law firm representing the anonymous plaintiff, has filed similar suits against several other universities, including Brown University, Boston University, Duke University, Emory University, George Washington University, Rutgers University, University of Southern California, Vanderbilt University and Washington University in St. Louis.
A Georgetown University spokeswoman could not be immediately reached for comment.
Georgetown, which has a $1.8 billion endowment, announced earlier this month that beginning in June 2020 it will suspend retirement plan contributions for all faculty, staff, and adjunct professors.