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SRU students will receive a 50% refund for housing, meal plans and select fees as a result of the conversion to online classes for the rest of the semester, SRU President William Behre announced on March 20.
Behre said that the rate of 50% was determined based on the number of days students will be unable to access the services funded by the fees.
“In this case, as the original end date for spring break was to be March 15 and the original move-out date was to be May 8, that equates to an eight-week period, or half of the total 16-week semester,” Behre said in his statement on March 20.
Residential students who are no longer living on campus will receive a 50% refund for housing and meal plans. Students who were approved to reside on campus will not receive refunds for housing or meal plans.
The following rates will be refunded at the 50% rate for all students:
- Meal plans (if applicable)
- Parking (if applicable)
- Health services
- Student life enhancement fee
- Student activity fee
- Campus recreation fee
- STEM-H fee (if applicable if a student was enrolled in course that required this fee)
- Smith Student Center fee
Since SRU will continue to provide educational services through distance education, tuition will not be refunded. According to Behre’s original announcement, the academic enhancement fee and technology fee will also not be refunded.
An explanation of each fee can be found on the Fee Descriptions document.
If a student added voluntary flex dollars to their account for on-campus dining services, they will be refunded the amount not spent in the spring 2020 semester.
The refunds are expected to be posted to student accounts on or around the week of April 6. The refund will first apply to any remaining balances on a student’s account before the refund is sent via an electronic transfer to the student’s account or a refund check to the student’s permanent address.
Behre added that the conversion to online classes doesn’t change a student’s classification for financial aid and/or reporting purposes.
In response to SRU’s spring break extension and conversion to online instructing beginning March 30, SRU’s Office of Academic Records released a video to explain the prorated refunds of student fees. This video can be seen here.
According to the video, the preferred method for sending refunds is via direct deposit. Students who are interested in enrolling in direct deposit are to complete the form on the student accounts page and email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Direct deposit is the preferred method for sending you any refund,” according to the video. “It is safe and fast and preferred over the use of a paper check, especially with today’s current circumstances of limited banking access for consumers.”
Each student’s individual bank will determine how quickly the direct deposit will process.
The student activity fee is allocated to the Student Government Association (SGA) each year to support student organizations and the shuttle bus on campus and alleviate costs of athletic events, lectures, movies, entertainment and publications.
Due to the 50% refund of the student activity fee to all students, SGA has decided not to entertain any new payment requests for the remainder of the year, according to SGA Vice President of Finance Kaitlyn Hazelett.
“This means all organization budgets will not be available for spending during the rest of the semester, regardless of how much was remaining in them,” Hazelett said in in an email. The remaining balance will not carry over to the fall 2020 semester.
Hazelett added that any expenses that were incurred prior to spring break will be accepted but need to be submitted as soon as possible.
“Clubs should be aware that if they had any expenses incurred prior to spring break or any that are required to be paid before the end of the semester, to still submit those as they will be covered,” Hazelett said.
Hazelett said that the following steps should be followed to submit any remaining payment requests:
- Go to www.sru.edu/core
- Go to the SGA portal
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and select “View All Documents”
- Go to the “Financial Documents” folder
- Download the payment request and complete by printing or completing the form online
No checks can be picked up at The Suite until further notice.
“All checks will be processed as soon as the Cooperative Activity Office staff has access to the office again, so please take this into consideration,” Hazelett said.
Other schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education have announced similar refunds. East Stroudsburg, Kutztown, Lock Haven, and Shippensburg Universities all announced 50% refunds for housing, meal plans and certain fees. California University will refund on-campus residential students 47% for housing and meal plans and all face-to-face students 40% of select fees.
Bloomsburg, Cheyney, Clarion, Edinboro, Indiana, Mansfield, Millersville and West Chester Universities have not posted refund information to their respective websites as of March 27.