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MSU students file lawsuit against university demanding tuition, room, board and fee refunds

April 20, 2020
A Michigan State University sign on Beal Street on Aug. 23, 2019.
A Michigan State University sign on Beal Street on Aug. 23, 2019. —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

Some Michigan State students filed a lawsuit against the university demanding reimbursement for tuition, room, board and fees be equally distributed among the student body.

The suit was filed with the firm Milberg Phillips Grossman LLP. They filed a similar suit against Purdue University on April 9. MSU offered a partial refund to students who would be able to leave their dorm by April 12, offering a $1,120 credit via direct deposit, on-campus meal plans or off-campus meal plans.

"Michigan State's decision to end classes is understandable from a public health perspective, but the University's refund policy is unfair to students," said Glenn Phillips, a partner at Milberg, in a press release. "Students paid for an on-campus experience and received an off-campus experience for one-quarter of the academic year, which amounts to an educational bait-and-switch."

The announcement that the semester would first be transitioning to online learning was on March 11. This announcement also encouraged students to return to their permanent addresses if they were able.

This suit was a part of the efforts of the Coronavirus Litigation Task Force, a group dedicated to "investigate suspected wrongdoing related to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic," the group's website says.

Representatives from Milberg could not be reached for comment at time of publication.

An MSU spokesperson could also not be reached for comment at time of publication.

This is a developing story. In our reporting, we'll focus on verifying information from credible sources. Stay with The State News for more updates on how COVID-19 is affecting the MSU and East Lansing community.

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