Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any educational program or activity that receives federal funding. Title IX addresses sexual harassment, sexual violence, or any gender-based discrimination that may deny a person access to educational benefits and opportunities. Under Title IX law, an institution is legally obligated to promptly and effectively take the necessary measures to adequately address any factors that creates a hostile environment, mediate its effects, and prevent its reoccurrence. For more information on Title IX requirements, click here.
In some cases, colleges and universities would be required to reimburse survivors for loss of tuition, incurred medical expenses from sexual violence, and/or accumulated student loan interest. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) determined that an institution’s responsibility to cover the financial costs of a survivor ranges to its involvement in the survivor needing services. Additionally, the White House Council on Women and Girls recognizes that sexual violence has costs which creates a gender-based barrier to a survivor’s educational access; which compromises Title IX. So for instance, your school does not notify your professors to accommodate your academic needs, be lenient with deadlines, or offer you an incomplete so you suffer academically because you could not keep up in class. If you have this experience in all your classes, then you could have lost a semester’s worth of tuition which your school should reimburse. There have been cases where the OCR has shown that institutions have an obligation to cover financial consequences of sexual violence. Institutions to be found to have violated Title IX might be required to reimburse survivors for lost tuition and related expenses, such as counseling and medical services. For more information on institutions’ obligations to remedy financial consequences of sexual violence, please visit here.