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Princeton Student Sues for Tuition Refund

A Princeton University student is suing the university for breach of contract, arguing that students shouldn’t have to pay full tuition for the spring 2020 semester, which was held remotely after the pandemic shut down the Princeton campus in March.

Reid Zlotky, a sophomore from Dallas County, Tex., filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. In it, he argues that Princeton didn’t uphold its end of the deal, including providing a “vibrant campus life” and in-person interactions with professors and peers.

“While Princeton does not bear culpability for the campus closures or the inability to provide any classroom instruction, neither do the enrolled students. Yet, while Princeton has used the current COVID-19 shutdown circumstances to excuse its duty to perform fully the obligations of its bargain with its students, Princeton continues to demand that all students perform their contractual bargain to pay all tuition and fees for the Spring 2020 term,” the complaint reads. “This is contrary to fundamental tenets of contract law.”

Princeton charged $51,870 in tuition for the 2019-20 academic year — $25,935 for the spring 2020 term. This year, the university upped its tuition rate to $53,890 for the year.

The lawsuit comes months after students all over the country filed similar suits against dozens of institutions and their leaders, including Drexel University, the University of Miami, the Board of Regents of the University of Colorado and the Arizona state system. Many of the suits remain unresolved.

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