University to pay $8.9 million in tuition settlement

Samira Felix
News Editor

The University of La Verne has agreed to pay $8.9 million to students who were a part of the class action lawsuit that called for a partial refund of tuition and fees for the spring 2020 semester. The lawsuit was filed by almuna Brianna Arredondo who was enrolled at the University during the 2019-2020 academic year. 

The University moved all classes online due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the state’s stay-at-home order during the spring 2020 semester. The suit alleged that the switch to online classes led students to not receive all the services that were supposed to be included in the tuition they paid for that semester. 

Students involved in the lawsuit received notice of the settlement on Jan. 18 via email. The notice states that the parties have decided to settle the lawsuit to avoid the expense, inconvenience, and distraction of litigation and trial. Students were given the option to opt out of the settlement before Feb. 17. 

Students who did not opt out of the settlement will receive a proportionate share of the new cash benefits, which is estimated to be $870,000, increased financial aid benefits that were distributed by the University during the 2020-2021 academic year  and non-cash benefits like access to the Career Center, Academic Success Center and a 10% discount in tuition to students who enroll in a graduate program at the University. 

According to an email sent by University President Devorah Lieberman earlier this week the settlement will not affect the University’s sustainability plans and that the bulk of the settlement has already been distributed to students through financial aid, scholarships and other support that the University provided during the height of the pandemic. 

Lieberman added that the University’s main focus is to provide a comprehensive and affordable education to students. 

The final approval hearing for the settlement is April 10.

For more information on the lawsuit and the settlement visit lavernetuitionrefund.com/documents

Samria Felix can be reached at samira.felix@laverne.edu

Samira Felix, a junior journalism major with a concentration in print-online journalism, is news editor for the Campus Times. She previously served as a staff writer.

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