Tomorrow, students are expected to receive communication from the student billing office regarding each individual’s specific refund amount for the spring semester’s room and board fees. These refunds are a result of students having to leave campus prior to spring break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Alison Byerly and Roger Demareski, Vice President of Finance and Administration, sent an email to the campus community last week announcing the college’s finalized policy for reimbursing students for room and board payments. According to the email, the college will be crediting or refunding “50 percent of the specific room and board charges due from each student who lived in college-owned housing and departed campus prior to April 4, 2020.”
According to Controller Andrea Bohn, this means that college is providing a 50 percent adjustment to each students’s individual room and board charge for the spring semester. This adjustment will take the form of a credit, with the college guaranteeing a minimum credit of $1,000.
All eligible students then, regardless of amount paid for room and board, will receive the credit toward any unpaid account balance or a refund check up to $1,000.
Theoretically, Bohn explained, this would mean that if the 50 percent adjustment resulted in an individual’s room and board charges to be decreased by $4,000, and room and board charges had been paid in full, that student would receive $1,000 now, and the remaining $3,000 would be used as a credit on the student’s account for next semester’s payments. Seniors will receive the entire refund this spring.
Byerly added that the college was also determined to honor students’ full financial aid packages, even as room and board charges have been adjusted. Additionally, those students whose financial aid packages covered their room and board costs will still receive the minimum $1,000 credit.
The $1,000 minimum, according to college, was instituted in order to help students defray any unexpected costs of travel to or from campus, shipping of belongings, or loss of campus employment due to this disruption.
Additionally, for those seniors in private off-campus housing, 50 percent of their specific meal plan will be refunded, with a guaranteed $500 minimum credit refund, according to Bohn. If a student was not on one of the 5-20 meal plan options, and had only pard dollars, 50 percent of that will be refunded.
This credit for room and board is the “only specific reimbursement” the college will be providing for this semester, the email specified.
The April 4 date was selected as the cut-off because it was the original end date for those who petitioned to remain on campus before spring break for the college’s original temporary remote learning period. Bohn said that while the announcement for the room and board credit was sent out on April 3, residence life had been working with those students still on campus a week or two a head of that in order to allow for sufficient time in considering if they needed to extend their petition to stay on campus.
Those students who remain on campus after April 4 are not eligible for any sort of refund from the college, as they are still being provided with housing and meals.
The room and board reimbursement information will be sent to students and also go out to any approved proxies in the college’s TouchNet system. An additional link will be provided with the student billing information for students or families who would like to waive their credit in the form of a donation to the Krivoski Student Emergency Assistance Fund, the College’s Annual Fund, or elsewhere.