University of Wisconsin students who paid for meal plans and residence hall rooms only to leave halfway through the semester because of the COVID-19 pandemic will receive refunds, according to a UW System announcement.
The refunds will be prorated and cover the period after individual campuses’ spring breaks. Students cannot carry their refund into the next school year because of rules related to federal financial aid.
“We recognize the tremendous upheaval this pandemic has inflicted on the lives of our students, and we appreciate their patience and their sacrifice,” System President Ray Cross said in a statement. “This reimbursement is the right thing to do.”
But students at some campuses may not see their refund directly deposited into their bank accounts if they owe money elsewhere, such as a tuition bill.
UW-Madison student housing director Jeff Novak told students and parents in a Facebook Live video Wednesday that housing credits would first be applied toward outstanding bills and any remaining money would return directly to students — a point that seemed to frustrate some people watching the video.
The System is leaving it up to campuses to decide how to implement the refunds, according to System spokesman Mark Pitsch.
UW-Madison students should expect more details next week, University Housing spokesman Brendon Dybdahl said Thursday.
Other Madison campuses
Madison Area Technical College announced the closure of all campus buildings and cancellation of activities through at least May 15, including the spring commencement ceremony. Classes will move online “as appropriate and whenever possible” starting March 30.
“While I understand this is disappointing, we are exploring the possibility of a celebration, or series of celebrations, for our graduates in a different format,” President Jack E. Daniels III said in a statement.
Edgewood College also announced Thursday that courses will remain online through the rest of the semester.
“Students, I know that you are sad, confused, disappointed and frustrated,” interim President Mary Ellen Gevelinger wrote in an email. “This is not how you imagined your Edgewood College experience of Spring 2020 to unfold.”
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