Right now, many people across the nation are experiencing financial difficulties.
Like many colleges and institutions, IUP was able to provide refund checks to students since students were no longer living on campus, using facilities and services and weren’t participating in campus-run activities and events.
On IUP’s website, Dr. Thomas Segar, vice president for student affairs, wrote a brief description of how student refunds were broken down.
Segar was clear about those who were eligible and those who weren’t eligible to receive a refund check and why.
“Please note that as your refund is applied, you will not receive a refund payment (direct deposit or check) if you have a balance due on your account,” Segar said. “Also, please know that if you have not paid a fee or have not paid the fee in full, you will not receive a refund or a full refund for that fee.”
The website listed five major areas of where students would likely get money back from.
The majority of the refund check money was based on if the student was living on campus and had a meal plan.
Under “housing,” students would get reimbursed if they lived on campus and were asked to leave their residence hall, receiving a prorated or proportional refund for housing and commons fees. These fees, however, were not for the entire semester, but for March 16 through May 9.
Segar noted that the commons fee applied only to those students who were living in suite-style housing only. Students in this living situation would receive $125 back.
“If you paid $17 for 17 weeks of living in a residence hall, that means that each week’s cost is about $1,” said Michelle Fryling, executive director of media relations. “So, looking at the 17 weeks of the semester that you’ve paid, students couldn’t live in the halls for the last 8 weeks of the semester, from March 16 through May 8.
“Students would get a prorated refund, which means they would get a refund for the weeks they didn’t or couldn’t live there, and in the scenario I gave, it would be $8.”
Additionally, like regular housing regulations, if students incurred any room damage charges throughout the year or semester, the amount would be subtracted from the refund.
“If students haven’t paid for their housing bill in full or had any room damage or other costs, they didn’t get a full refund,” Fryling said. “The same thing goes for students’ dining services or other fees.”
Students who are still on campus will not receive a refund.
For dining, students who checked out of the residence halls and discontinued the use of the meal plan received a refund distributed as of March 16. That also included unused Flex that were added beyond the meal plan.
The wellness fees students pay per semester is used to provide services and programs that are offered from the Rhonda H. Luckey Center for Health and Well-Being, Disability Services and Sports Medicine. The wellness fees are a mandatory fee of $18 per credit taken by the student.
Some services included: the Health Center, the Counseling Center, the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs and Health and the Wellness Promotion, to name a few.
Students received 25 percent of the fee as of March 16. Some services are still available to students like Health Services and the Counseling Center.
The Student Co-op provides funding to 110 student groups, all of which received around $4,000,000 in activity fee allocations.
According to Segar, prior to spring break, more than 80 percent of the Activity Fee had been expended by the majority of the different departments, clubs and organizations. Therefore, students’ refund from the Student Activity Fee was calculated based on the unused student activity funds.
“The refund was $3.57 per credit out of the $42 per credit paid. For a 15 credit semester, your refund would be $53.55,” Segar said.
The last thing students could have been refunded for was for parking. Like the other refunds, parking fees was prorated as of March 16.
Segar ended the refund details by thanking students and families for their patience during the process.
“I hope that this information helps you to plan for the remainder of your semester,” Segar said. “Please note that students in financial distress caused by the coronavirus pandemic do have the opportunity to apply for financial help through the Emergency Response Fund, which is the result of donations from members of the IUP family.
“Please do not hesitate to take advantage of this fund.”
For more information, explanations or questions about refunds, email firstname.lastname@example.org.