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Bradley wants court case for additional refunds dismissed

The university is wanting the tuition reimbursement case to be dismissed. Photo by Anthony Landahl

Bradley is asking the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois to drop a lawsuit against the university filed by the anonymous nursing student under the alias “Jane Doe.”

Doe, who filed the suit earlier this summer, is looking for the university to award reimbursements in tuition and fees after switching to online courses in the spring 2020 semester amidst the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Doe claimed that the university held back resources and refunds from students last semester.

According to the university in their counterpoints to the case, Doe did not provide clear examples of a breach of contract damages. The claims, according to the university, are not enough for the case to move forward.

Earlier in the suit, Doe claimed that the university failed to provide students a full 15 weeks of classes. However, the university does not view this as a reason that helps her case, as there’s nowhere in Bradley’s Undergraduate Catalog that says the university will provide 15 weeks of in-person instruction.

The university argued that Doe’s assertion of the inferior quality of online education compared to face-to-face education is “subjective and speculative.”

Doe said that students who take classes solely online aren’t required to pay a course surcharge like in-person students.

Doe did argue that the university was still charging students who were in-person before the switch in the spring semester; those students were still being charged with fees that students who enrolled in online classes didn’t have to pay. Students learning in-person were unable to complete labs or hands-on learning in March and for the rest of the semester.

“Additionally, Bradley does not charge Online Learning at Bradley students a mandatory $85 Activity Fee and $120 Health Fee because the courses are 100% online, with no campus access,” Doe said in the suit.

Doe argued that in-person students didn’t fully use the services that they paid Bradley to provide. Doe said that students should be entitled to a refund based on the services that were not available due to remote learning.

Last semester, the university did refund students based on housing fees and meal plans, but it did not refund students based on tuition and fees. Doe argued that the loss of housing and meal plans is the same loss of facilities and student events and that more should be reimbursed.

While the university is asking for the dismissal of the case, Doe is still asking for a jury trial.

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