Unimpressed by online classes during COVID-19, some college students seek refunds

FILE - In this May 15, 2019, file photo Drexel University in Philadelphia. Students at more than 25 universities are filing lawsuits demanding tuition refunds from their schools after finding that the online classes they are being offered do not match up to the classroom experience. Grainger Rickenbaker, a freshman who filed a class action lawsuit against Drexel University in Philadelphia, said the online classes he's been taking are poor substitutes for classroom learning. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

They wanted the campus experience, but their colleges sent them home to learn online during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, students at more than 25 U.S. universities are filing lawsuits against their schools demanding partial refunds on tuition and campus fees, saying they're not getting the caliber of education they were promised.

The suits reflect students' growing frustration with online classes that schools scrambled to create as the coronavirus forced campuses across the nation to close last month. The suits say students should pay lower rates for the portion of the term that was offered online, arguing that the quality of instruction is far below the classroom experience.

Colleges, though, reject the idea that refunds are in order. Students are learning from the same professors who teach on campus, officials have said, and they're still earning credits toward their degrees.