HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Students who attend the University of Connecticut and state colleges and universities will receive a credit for their unused room and board.
UConn students will receive pro-rated refunds for housing, dining plans, and Study Abroad programs that were discontinued due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced the university to send students home and offer academics and other services remotely.
The university made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon, after its Board of Trustees approved it.
“It certainly is consistent with our values and will be well received,” said UConn president Thomas C. Katsouleas.
The room and board refunds will range from about $1,600 to almost $3,200 for Storrs students, depending on which style of on-campus housing they had. It'll amount to between about $1,200 and $1,400 for dining plans. Students who lived in Stamford residence halls will be refunded about $2,800 to $3,100.
“We hope very loudly that there will be federal and state assistance with this, but we couldn’t afford to wait to find out,” said UConn Board of Trustees Chairman Dan Toscano. “It is not [a matter] we take lightly, but it is for sure the right decision to make for our students at this time.”
UConn's Education Abroad students will receive refunds based on the nature of their programs.
The payments will be credited on the fall semester’s fee bills, and that those who graduate or do not return to UConn for other reasons would receive refunds.
Mark Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system, announced a similar credit on Wednesday.
“This is a complex process, but our universities are working to issue credits and refunds as expeditiously as possible,” Ojakian said. “We understand that these housing refunds are important monetary sources for our students as they begin to adjust to a new normal of online learning. I applaud the leaders of our universities for taking this important action.”
UConn, along with schools within the CSCU shifted the spring semester to online in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
As a result, students who lived on campus were sent home. Commencements were canceled, or in some cases postponed.
In the days since, students asked about refunds.
Ojakian said each school is reaching out to students to figure out a timeline of when they left and a means in which to facilitate the credit.
He warned that amounts will vary based on the school, type of housing, and other factors. However, students who paid room and board fees should expect a credit covering the period beginning with the closure of residence halls through the end of the spring semester.
“The Board of Regents is committed to ensuring all students have the tools necessary to continue their education during this turbulent time,” said Matt Fleury, Board of Regents chair. “By ensuring students and their families quickly receive refunds for unused housing fees, our universities are helping ease the financial burdens caused by the COVID-19 outbreak and ensuing economic downturn.”
Stay with Channel 3 for continuing coverage of the coronavirus outbreak.