After failures in district courts, a handful of students have taken their COVID-19 tuition refund fights to appellate courts in cases that are being closely watched by the higher education community.

Many of the lawsuits, alleging universities breached contracts by shifting to virtual courses while charging in-person prices, were dismissed by district court judges, though results have been mixed. Claims that survived tended to be those seeking compensation for specific fees, such as student activities promised but not delivered during campus closures, observers say.

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