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Student sues Wash U over tuition

The lawsuit calls Wash U's online offering "something far less" than a "comprehensive academic experience"

ST. LOUIS — A Washington University undergraduate student on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against the school, seeking a tuition refund and other damages.

The university says on its website that because instruction was moved online, "tuition will not be reimbursed."

"The university continues to operate during this time, with faculty still teaching classes and completing normal activities, with regular support from staff within the schools," Wash U said. "Students will continue to receive academic instruction from the same faculty members, albeit in a modified environment, for academic credit, and we will continue to provide academic support services and resources remotely."

The school also said it is absorbing the cost of online instruction.

But the lawsuit, from plaintiff Alexander Raimo of New Jersey, calls Wash U's online offering "something far less" than a "comprehensive academic experience." The suit seeks class-action status.

It says Wash U got an estimated $22.4 million from the federal CARES Act, meant to lessen the blow from the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the spring term, Wash U charged $27,125 in tuition, $6,474 for housing, $2,194 to $3,319 for meals, $250 for a student health fee and $271 for an activities fee, according to the lawsuit.

A Washington University spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Raimo is represented by attorney David Grebel of Niemeyer, Grebel & Kruse LLC.

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