Belmont students receive refunds for room and board
Students who lived on campus this year will be getting a prorated refund in their student accounts on Monday, but there are several stipulations as to how much and how they will be getting that money.
In an email sent out to the university Monday morning, university President Dr. Bob Fisher announced that students will be receiving a prorated refund into their accounts later that day. This comes after all students living in on campus housing were asked to move out of their residence halls due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Thank you for your patience as we’re working through his process. As I promised, our aim was to arrive at a plan that is fair for all, and I believe we are delivering on that promise,” said Fisher in the email.
The email linked to the COVID-19 Room and Board Refund page on Belmont’s website where it details how the refunds are calculated and how they will be paid to the students.
According to the site, “All Residence Hall and Meal Plan refunds are being pro-rated based on a start date of March 16, 2020 or, for students who occupied their rooms after Spring Break, the date the student actually vacated their residence.”
However, room and board fees that were paid for by any university scholarships will not be refunded, according to the page.
Parker Kerns, a freshman motion pictures major, said that this decision is understandable.
“I feel conflicted about the institutional scholarships not being added with the refund. On one hand, this did not come directly out of the students pockets so why should we get it back, but on the other hand it is technically included in housing and meal plans,” said Kern.
“I think the decision to not include it ultimately is the correct one, we as the students did not pay those fees out of pocket so it makes sense it would not be returned.”
Kern himself even started a petition for Belmont to provide a refund for the room and board costs, which was signed by over 2,000 people before Belmont announced they would provide the refunds.
The refunds will be credited to the student accounts, going first to any outstanding charges on the account, according to the FAQ page. After that the remaining credits will go back to students in two ways.
For graduating seniors, students receiving federal Title IV financial aid and students whose room and board funding came from student or Parent Plus loans and/or Pell Grants, the remaining credit will be refunded to them through their accounts designated means of refund, according to the email.
For all other returning students, the remaining credit will stay in their accounts and will be applied to any future costs such as tuition and room and board for next semester.
“For many other students the refund being cash form is required,” said Kern. “Those that are planning to live off campus or not return to the university need that money to be put elsewhere. I think every student should have a choice to have the refund be cash, especially during this financial hardship that money could benefit a lot of students and their families.”