Students file class-action lawsuit against SCAD for tuition reimbursement

The average cost of tuition at the Savannah College of Art and Design is Students at the Savannah College of Art and Design are suing the school, and seeking reimbursement for tuition payments after the college closed following the outbreak of COVID-19.

Students are outraged and argue that after classes moved online this past quarter, they lost access to tools, software, and events that are meant to help them build their portfolios.

Harris Lowry Manton firm has partnered with the students to file the class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of Chatham County.

Attorney Andrew Brown says, "We're asking SCAD to acknowledge what they are providing through online classes is most definitely not the same caliber of instruction or experience that these students were promised when registering for in-person classes." "They're losing access to the campus, to networking events, to studios, and remember, this is an art and design school. Students rely heavily on the school’s physical resources for an effective education.”

According to the lawsuit, the CARES Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund provided SCAD with $8.2 million in federal funding. The college denied students requests for a partial tuition refund numerous times.

“This lawsuit by no means takes issue with the university’s decision to follow social distancing practices,” Bowen said. “But neither law nor equity will tolerate SCAD taking federal coronavirus funds, lavishly compensating the university’s president, and maintaining significant real estate holdings worldwide, along with a private jet—all the while refusing to refund any portion of students’ tuition dollars.”

Students at 25 other universities are also taking legal action against their institutions for reimbursement after losing the in-person experience and access to campus.

The university responded today saying, "The university announced two weeks before the Spring quarter started the need to move all courses and instruction online due to the virus. We wanted to be sure students had that time, as well as the first week of class, to decide whether they wanted to take classes in a completely online environment, or drop courses and receive a full tuition refund. SCAD’s nationally recognized, award winning, accredited eLearning program offers many degrees completely on line and has for many years. Our tuition for online and on-ground courses at SCAD has always been the same. Finally, if a student at SCAD is dissatisfied with an online course experience this spring, we have offered them the option to re-take that course for no additional tuition and in-person when on-ground courses are able to resume."

Photo: Getty Images

Source: WTGS

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