U of M Regents increase refunds for students

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved a refund increase for fees paid for housing, meals, transportation, parking, and health services that went unused after the campus closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first change was made on April 3, using March 28 as the start date for reimbursement. An amendment to push that date to the day students returned from spring break failed on a 6-6 vote. After further pushback from students, President Joan Gabel and the Board revisited the issue on April 7 and changed the reimbursement dates to March 16 for the Twin Cities, Duluth, and Rochester campuses and March 23 for Morris and Crookston, the end of spring breaks on the respective campuses.

The date change will cost the U of M $35 million, an increase from the $24.8 million from the original proposal.

Originally, the U of M announced it would reimburse students for around $1,200 of the $5,000 average paid even though about half the semester remained. The reimbursement rates were made at the administrative level, and the Regents did not act on it as part of a regular meeting.

Following the meeting, funds will be reimbursed in the following manner (information distributed by the U of M):

  • Housing and Residential Life: Students who have a spring semester contract for any Housing and Residential Life service (housing, dining plans, and flex-dine/dining dollars), on any campus, will receive a 100% credit of their housing and dining fees from either March 16 or March 23 to the end of their contract. This credit does not apply if students have remained on campus and are currently a resident of a University-managed residence hall or apartment.
  • Voluntary Meal Plan: For students with block, standard 11-meal, 14-meal, or Anytime voluntary meal plans, they will receive a 100% credit of their dining plans from March 16 or March 23 through the end of the spring semester.  
  • Parking fee: For students who have paid for parking on the Crookston, Duluth, Morris, or Twin Cities campuses, they will receive 100% of their parking fee credited from March 16 or March 23 to the end of their semester contract. Rochester has no University-owned parking.
  • Recreation and Wellness fee: For the Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Twin Cities campuses, students will receive 100% credit of the recreation and wellness fee from March 16 or March 23 through the last day of finals in May. Students on the Rochester campus will not be charged for April and May fees from the Rochester YMCA since the YMCA will, in turn, not be billing the University of Minnesota Rochester for this time period.
  • Student Services fee: Students will receive 50% credit for the student services fee from March 16 or March 23 through the last day of finals in May.
  • Transportation and Safety: For the Duluth and Twin Cities campuses, students will receive 100% credit of the transportation and safety fee from March 16 or March 23 through the last day of finals in May. Crookston, Morris, and Rochester campuses do not charge this fee.

All accounts will be automatically credited within one month and requires no action by students.

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