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Florida Universities Could Be Forced To Refund Millions In Fees To Students

University of Florida student takes the Board of Governors to court over lost fees.

A local Florida student is taking up the cause to get campus service fees for thousands of university students across the state. A UF student’s lawsuit has been pushed forward in hopes of returning millions of dollars to student’s pockets.

In ordinary circumstances, Anthony Rojas would be enjoying his school year, but this isn’t a typical year, as thanks to the coronavirus, university students are at home and find themselves suddenly cash-strapped. 

Rojas felt the financial pain of his fellow students and decided to do something about it. On Monday, May 15, he decided to file a lawsuit against the Florida Board of Governors on behalf of Florida’s college students.

The suit argues that Florida’s 12 public universities are improperly holding fees from students. The basic argument here is that, if students are not on campus utilizing university facilities, the fees associated with those fees should be refunded. 

Colleges have refunded students for housing and dining services no longer in use, but universities have kept fees for other services such as athletics and transportation, which Rojas’ lawsuit hopes to rectify.

According to The Alligator, the University of Florida’s student newspaper, Rojas said that the universities have not contacted him since filing the lawsuit. 

The Florida Board of Governors are responsible for the administration of the state’s 12 public universities, and have the final say on all university fees, which makes the board liable for the non-refunds, the lawsuit alleged.

“The university system, as well as the individual universities, pretty much made their stance very clear,” Rojas told The Alligator, adding that, although the universities relented on housing and dining fees, the other fees were never mentioned. 

Steve Orlando, a spokesman for the University of Florida, said that its university has no plans to refund the fees outside of what’s already been refunded, and other universities have yet to respond about its intentions of fee refunds.

According to WEAR-TV, undergraduate students like Anthony pay $63.47 per credit hour; and taking into account the minimum number of hours to be considered full-time is 12, which adds up to $760 at minimum per full-time college students. 

There are over 300,000 students who attend each of Florida’s 12 universities, so if the lawsuit goes in Rojas’ favor, the refund could be in the millions, and universities will almost certainly feel the pinch.