New Jersey lawmakers are trying to help colleges currently in court with lawsuits demanding refunded tuition due to the COVID pandemic.

According to New Jersey 101.5's Michael Symons: "Last week, a Senate committee endorsed legislation saying colleges that cancel in-person classes because of COVID-19 are not required to issue refunds of tuition and instructional fees so long as the class is offered in a remote format and an effort is made to refund room and board fees."

This isn't fair to those students and parents who paid good money that they'd been saving all their lives for. So far lawsuits have been filed against Kean University, Ramapo College, Seton Hall University and Fairleigh Dickinson University, according to Mike's article.

These lawsuits are going to take time and money and eventually will reach a settlement. There is another alternative or compromise that could make everyone happy both now and going forward. Colleges should from now on offer a "virtual learning" tuition.

Just like concert venues like the Mayo Performing Arts Center are already offering live stream options, colleges and universities can offer a special "virtual learning" rate that can be the default should they ever be forced to close the campus. Schools can also offer a virtual learning option to those who may want to attend from other states but for reasons like family, finances, or job, may not be able to move. Virtual learning can actually be a source of revenue even after the coronavirus goes away, not that it will ever go away.

A virtual learning rate, as far as the lawsuits go, would take the place of the settlement, which could get you there faster and for much less money when you figure the legal fees saved.

It's simply not fair to not require the colleges to issue refunds. I would question why these senators would favor the colleges as opposed to those hardworking people who voted them in and now would be screwed out of this money, then again, considering where we are, I probably wouldn't.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

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