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Teaneck NYU Freshman Among Thousands Demanding Refund For 'Subpar' Online Classes

A petition on Change.org calling for a partial tuition refund for New York University students had garnered nearly 12,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon with a goal of 15,000.
A petition on Change.org calling for a partial tuition refund for New York University students had garnered nearly 12,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon with a goal of 15,000. Photo Credit: New York University

A 19-year-old New York University freshman from Teaneck is among thousands of students asking for a refund on subpar online classes during the COVID-19 pandemic, reports say.

The school did return a fractional refund for housing, meals and specific school/course-based fees, the New York Post reports.

Still, students are demanding more.

A Change.org petition calling for a partial tuition refund had garnered more than 12,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon. The petition needed an additional 3,000 to reach its goal.

“The fact that school has transitioned to remote teaching means that we students are not gaining the same level of teaching from the university in addition to the fact that the school does not need as much money to run now that everything is remote,” wrote Matthew Harnick, who launched the petition nearly two months ago.

“Thus, students should be discounted for whatever the non-profit university is saving on, and only pay for what we are getting!”

Students and non-students alike voiced their reasons for signing the petition — some were worried for their financial futures while others felt as though they were seriously missing out on amenities and experiences that they’ve would’ve otherwise had in the present.

“Why are we paying more than 35K for something that I could have learned on YouTube?” one supporter commented.

“I am an international grad student and I didn’t pay this much for an online class,” wrote another supporter. “I have a student loan to pay at 14 percent.”

Students have also filed lawsuits against Pace University, Long Island University and Columbia demanding tuition refunds, New York Post reports.

University officials in the public CUNY and SUNY systems have not announced final decisions about how or when classes would resume.

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