Student Financial Services released an email statement Wednesday night detailing refund options for students who held University housing and dining contracts for the Spring 2020 term. The instruction comes after President Jim Ryan and Provost Liz Magill’s March 17 email, which promised pro-rated credits for all students holding such contracts.
The statement detailed the order in which on-Grounds Housing and U.Va. Dining refunds will be processed. First, refunds will be automatically applied to student accounts and used to pay off any outstanding charges. With any balance remaining, students may choose to apply the funds to future tuition, room, board or other additional costs — or collect a cash refund via direct deposit.
Students can sign up for direct deposit through the Student Information System in the Finance Center. If students choose to use remaining refund balances to compensate for future University costs, they are encouraged to fill out the form provided by SFS no later than April 1.
Steve Kimata, assistant vice president for Student Financial Services, assured students in the email that the refund is already in effect.
“During this stressful time, the University has committed to providing a pro-rated refund for a portion of your housing and dining costs, with an effective date of March 16th,” Kimata wrote.
According to Wes Hester, director of media relations and deputy University spokesperson, refunds will be given to all students who moved out of on-Grounds housing in compliance with University guidelines.
“A prorated refund from March 16 until the end of the semester is being provided based on each students’ housing rental charge for the semester for students who vacated their room by March 23,” Hester said.
Students holding All Access Meal Plans — which provide unlimited meal swipes for residential dining halls — will receive a pro-rated refund from March 16 through the end of the semester. Block meal plan holders will receive refunds based on the value of the number of meal swipes they have remaining. All remaining plus dollars on student meal plan accounts will be refunded.
Students living off-Grounds received an email from University Dining March 20, in which they were given the option to have their meal plan remain active. If students did not respond to the email by March 22 to confirm that they still needed access to their account, they received an automatic refund for their respective meal plan.
The University’s response follows the release of a student organized petition March 17 calling on administration to provide a more holistic COVID-19 response. The petition states the University should “provide a pro-rated rebate or refund for on-Grounds housing, meal plans, tuition, and fees.”
“Students have not been refunded for fees that are effectively useless under remote instruction and they should not have to pay for services that are no longer accessible,” the petition stated. “As the Community Food Pantry was closed and many are now unemployed, students need access to and funds for food and housing.”
Other paid services that are no longer accessible to students due to University operational adjustments include recreational facilities and Newcomb Hall.