Students Seek Reimbursement of Mandatory Fees in Lawsuit Against Illinois State University

College students in common area of ISU

Stephan Zouras, LLP represents Illinois State University (ISU) students in a lawsuit filed against the university last week.  Students are seeking additional refunds from ISU for services they cannot use due to the COVID-19 closure of the school.

Plaintiffs maintain that ISU did not adequately refund students for the loss of education and experiential services that was included in mandatory fees for the Spring 2020 semester.

Such fees help fund athletics and Redbird Arena, the Bone Student Center, recreational facilities, health and wellness, instructional support and campus enhancement.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ISU took various actions that altered the spring semester scheduled to end on May 8, 2020.  Ultimately, ISU:

  • transitioned from face-to-face teaching to online instruction
  • closed University-operated housing and instructed all ISU students to return to and remain at their permanent home addresses
  • closed ISU facilities, including the Student Fitness Center

While these precautions were necessary and in line with various educational institutions across the United States as well as under the guidance of the Centers of Disease Control, ISU’s approach to student reimbursement is not.

ISU charges a consolidated, mandatory fee, encompassing the fees listed above, at a per-credit hour rate. The rate for a first-year student for the Spring 2020 semester was $92.28 per credit hour.

In April 24, 2020, ISU announced that it would issue a partial refund of mandatory fees to all students at a uniform rate of $12 per credit hour.

Plaintiffs challenge this refund as woefully disproportionate and inadequate, considering that the services these fees are explicitly intended to fund are not being utilized.

Stephan Zouras, LLP is seeking class certification on behalf of all ISU students.

If you are a student of ISU and have questions about your rights, please contact us.

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