The pandemic is forcing less than a quarter of the nation’s 5,000 colleges and universities to offer in-person instruction. In response, some parents are suing for breach of contract (“As Colleges Move Classes Online, Families Rebel Against the Cost,” The New York Times, Aug. 15).
I’m not a lawyer, but I think they have a case. They paid for face-to-face instruction, but are not getting what they signed up for. They at least deserve tuition rebates, increased financial aid and reduced fees. But instead, they are getting nothing. Rather than do what is right, several institutions have moved for dismissal. Worse yet, some have even increased prices, arguing that if not they will have to lay off faculty.
This is an unprecedented period in higher education in this country. I’ve written before that a bachelor’s degree is no blanket guarantee of a well-paying job. Perhaps more and more high school students and their parents will begin to rethink their plans in light of the new realities.
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