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ASU student files suit against Arizona Board of Regents for tuition costs after campuses closed due to COVID

The complaint alleges the university is in breach of contract by not providing "immersive education and a top-notch educational experience."

Editor's Note: The above video is from previous coverage of Arizona State University and the University of Arizona announcing plans to open campuses in the fall. 

An Arizona State University student has filed a lawsuit against the Arizona Board of Regents to recover a portion of tuition and other fees paid to the university, which was forced to close campuses due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The complaint was filed by ASU sophomore Brock Doemel on behalf of students who claim they paid tuition, housing costs and other fees to the university. 

Doemel said he understands why the university had to close its campuses and move classes online. However, he does not feel the online classes were worth the full amount of tuition students paid. 

"Me. I don't learn that way. I need some sort of interactive component to get an immersive educational experience. I don't learn nearly as well having to do that online and self-directed work rather than getting the full on-campus immersive experience,"  Doemel said. 

Previous: Arizona State University officials plan to resume in-person classes in August

Previous: ASU extending online classes through spring semester because of coronavirus concerns

Previous: UArizona moving to online courses due to coronavirus concerns

The complaint claims the universities overseen by the board of regents, which are Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University, "did not refund any amount of the tuition or any portion of mandatory fees, despite implementing online distance learning in mid-March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

"It's unconscionable to me that they would do that in a time of great need for so many families," Doemel said. 

Students were given a "materially deficient and insufficient alternative, which constitutes a breach of the contracts," the complaint claims.

Doemel says he wants the difference in cost for online tuition and on-campus tuition be returned for the time students had to work remotely. He also wants the same be done for those taking summer courses that were meant to be in-person and are now online. 

"It is sort of getting back the money we paid and didn't get the benefits of," Doemel said. 

Doemel explained students who lived on campus were given a $1,500 non-refundable credit for future expenses. And seniors were offered a refund of $1,500.

A spokesperson for the Arizona Board of Regents said they do not comment on pending litigation. 

At the time of publication, we had not heard back from Arizona State University for comment on this story.