Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Georgetown Gives 10% Tuition Discount To Undergraduates Taking Online Classes, But Not Law Students

Washington Post, Georgetown University to Offer Tuition Breaks For Many Undergraduates This Fall:

GeorgetownGeorgetown University announced Tuesday that it will offer tuition discounts to many undergraduate students starting ­classes in August.

Students who are not invited to live on campus, which includes most upperclassmen, will receive a 10 percent cut in tuition totaling about $2,800, officials said. They said undergraduates who return to the campus in Northwest Washington will have access to services that will be unavailable to students living away from the school.

Georgetown, like many other universities, has scaled back on-campus housing amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. A limited number of single bedrooms are being offered to first-year students, some resident assistants and students with special circumstances — including those enrolled in certain academic programs and students with family situations that what would make it difficult to continue school away from campus.

Students who live on campus will pay the full $28,692 in tuition for the semester but will be charged a lower double-occupancy rate for housing instead of a pricier single-occupancy rate, leaders said. Housing and dining fees will also be slashed by 20 percent to account for a ­shorter-than-normal semester. Students will take a combination of in-person and online classes for most of the semester — which begins Aug. 26 — and then shift to remote learning the week of Thanksgiving. ...

[T] the decision to slash tuition can be credited, in part, to students who pressured the administration to make concessions for those who will spend much of their time in online classes and away from their peers. ...

But the university had a different message for graduate students, most of whom can also expect to spend much of their time in virtual classes. There was no mention of tuition adjustments in a message shared with graduate students Tuesday, but a reminder that fees are due Aug. 21. In an FAQ about the fall semester costs, the campus said the planned tuition cut for some undergraduates recognizes the fact that they are typically offered on-campus housing. Graduate students are not, the university said.

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If other universities do not provide similar discounts for online learning, they will probably face law suits, especially if they suddenly switch away from the in-classroom instruction they had talked about at or very near the beginning of the fall semester

Several universities are already being sued for a partial refund of tuition when students were abruptly kicked off campus in the spring and denied part of the "college experience," as well as in-classroom instruction they thought they had paid for.

Posted by: LawProf John Banzhaf | Jul 22, 2020 3:02:47 PM