Pepperdine University

Pepperdine Sued Over Non-Refund of Spring Semester Fees

The complaint seeks reimbursement of tuition and other campus fees.

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A lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles alleges that Pepperdine University should be ordered to provide refunds to cover fees paid for spring and summer semester classes, which are now taking place online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The proposed class-action complaint, filed in federal court by Joseph Pinzon, the parent of a Pepperdine graduate student, alleges that despite sending his son home and closing the Malibu campus, Pepperdine "continues to charge for tuition, fees, and/or room and board as if nothing has changed, continuing to reap the financial benefit of millions of dollars from students."

A message seeking comment from Pepperdine was not immediately answered.

Pinzon contends that he paid $27,820 for tuition, about $7,835 for room and board, and a $126 campus fee for his son's tuition and fees for the spring and summer 2020 academic terms.

"Such charges for study are significantly higher than online-only programs, including online courses that defendant offers,'' Pinzon alleges.

The plaintiff contends that he expected ``opportunities and services that his son did not receive, including on-campus education, facilities, services, and activities,'' according to the suit.

Pinzon further alleges that while he paid for his son's "academic experience, defendant instead offers plaintiff and the class members something far less: a limited online experience presented by Google or Zoom, void of face-to-face faculty and peer interaction, separated from program resources, and barred from facilities vital to study. Plaintiff and the class members did not bargain for such an experience."

The complaint seeks reimbursement of tuition and other campus fees.

Similar lawsuits have been filed in recent weeks in Los Angeles against USC, Loyola Marymount University and the University of California and California State University systems.

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