Miami to refund $27M in student fees due to coronavirus shutdown

Thousands of students who were forced to leave their campus residences due to the coronavirus will receive refunds totaling $27 million from Miami University, officials said.

The unprecedented refund of student fees is the result of the Butler County university’s forced shutdown last month due to preventative measures to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

“Miami is providing an appropriate refund of room and board for those students who left their on-campus residence hall by March 27 and did not return,” said Carole Johnson, spokeswoman for Miami, which enrolls nearly 20,000 undergraduates and graduate students.

MORE: Miami U closes down main campus residence halls as part of coronavirus preventive measures

“We are providing a prorated credit for room rent, the residential fee and buffet meal swipes. This applies to student residents of university housing who do not have an approved waiver to remain in housing and have left campus by March 27,” said Johnson.

Student tuition monies are not being refunded, said Johnson, who said a Miami employee erroneously publicized that statement Friday.

“An employee, not in university leadership, misunderstood the information provided by the provost. There is no refund of tuition. Like all other Ohio public universities, classes at Miami continue, students are working toward their degrees and receiving credit,’ said Johnson, referring to Miami’s decision in March to eliminate all personally attended classes at its main Oxford campus – and regional campuses – in favor of remote, online instruction.

“At this time, we are beginning to send refunds for room and board and some other fees, and we expect the total to be around $27 million,” she said

Students and their families should receive their refund money by May, said officials of the school, which is the largest employer in Butler County and also has regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown and a learning center in West Chester Township.

According to Miami policy the school “will provide an appropriate refund of room and board for those students who left their on-campus residence hall by March 27, and did not return. We will provide a prorated credit for room rent, the residential fee, and buffet meal swipes.

“This applies to student residents of university housing who do not have an approved waiver to remain in housing and have left campus by March 27. Unused dining dollars will roll forward and be available for use next semester. Credits will begin on April 8, and a customized email will be sent to each student to provide exact credit amounts and an explanation of how credits/refunds were calculated.”

General student fees will also be credited “for the Armstrong Student Center fee, Facility Fee, and Transit fee. A portion of the Basic General Fee will also be credited for those services that are no longer available because of the transition to remote learning,” states school policy.

“The university will provide a prorated credit to students who have purchased Spring semester parking permits.

“Students do not need to apply for these refunds or credits; they will be posted to the university bursar or RedHawk account no later than May,” according to school policy.

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