CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A federal judge is considering a proposed settlement of $1.25 million in a lawsuit filed on behalf of some Southern New Hampshire University students for tuition reimbursement during the coronavirus pandemic.
The 3,067 students were enrolled in in-person classes for the spring 2020 semester at SNHU. Their instruction was switched to online that March because of COVID-19.
The lead plaintiff is a recent SNHU graduate with a bachelor of science in justice studies. The lawsuit argued the program relies “extensively on in-person instruction, peer collaboration, and access to SNHU's facilities," and that those resources were not available to her. The lawsuit said the in-person courses cost more than the online ones and that the students should be compensated.
During a hearing Thursday, lawyers for both sides had no objection to the proposed settlement, which they said averages out to several hundred dollars to each student. Chief Judge Landya McCafferty questioned the process that lawyers used to arrive at their fees. She delayed her ruling to give them more time to respond.
In other coronavirus-related developments:
At least 52 arts and entertainment venues across New Hampshire have started receiving federal funds that were part of the pandemic relief package passed in December, the state's congressional delegation said Thursday.
The money is coming from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program. New Hampshire is getting over $23.6 million, the delegation said.
The venues have to demonstrate a revenue loss of at least 25% due to the pandemic.
More than 100,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in New Hampshire, including 101 cases announced Thursday. One new death was announced, for a total of 1,387.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire has risen over the past two weeks from 27 new cases per day on July 13 to 56 new cases per day on Tuesday.