Student Account Adjustments: March 18, 2020

To: Undergraduate Students, Parents and Guardians
From: Steve McAllister, Vice President for Finance
Date: March 18, 2020
Re: Student Account Adjustments

Please accept my appreciation for your patience as we work through the many challenges associated with the decision to ask students to leave campus and finish the academic year through virtual instruction. As we have shared in earlier communications from the University, it became clear that virtual instruction was the most prudent way to protect the health and well-being of students, faculty, staff and the wider communities.

The University recognizes that this decision has financial consequences for students and their families. In determining account adjustments, the University has calculated the time away from campus as 30% of the year. Therefore, we will be issuing a credit of 30% of the annual room rate for university housing ($2,346) for all students who were in university housing for the Winter Term except those who received a waiver to remain on campus this spring. For this small group of students, accounts will be credited based on the date on which they are able to leave campus.

Students with a meal plan will receive a credit of 30% on the portion of the plan that is not flex dollars. For meal plans with flex dollars embedded, we will refund the full balance of the unused flex dollars. As an example, for a full meal plan, the adjustment will be $1,972.50 plus any unused portion of the $450 flex dollars in that plan.

Students who have received a waiver to remain in university housing this spring and students who remain in Lexington and register to take meals at the University will not receive this initial credit. However, they will be eligible for an account credit at the time that they are able to leave university housing or rescind their registration to take meals on campus.

It is important to note that fraternities have their own meal plans, which are administered by their respective House Corporations. These plans are independent of university dining plans. Members of these organizations should seek guidance from their respective house corporation on the organization's refund policy.

In addition, for students who have a federal or institutional work-study component as part of their financial aid award and have been working in the Winter Term, departments will decide if they can continue to work remotely. Students in these jobs will be able to continue to earn these funds. For students whose positions will not be continued remotely, the University will continue to provide work-study earnings at an amount equal to the average hours per week worked during the Winter Term prior to this disruption. These funds will be released monthly during the remaining nine weeks of the academic session, using the current work-study payroll schedule. In all cases, the total actual earnings for the year will continue to be capped at the maximum work-study award value of $2,000.

The Business Office is currently working to update each student account to reflect these adjustments. We anticipate that the adjustments will be complete no later than March 25, 2020. For accounts that have a credit balance after these adjustments, the Business Office will issue payment based on the methodology on record (check, direct deposit, etc.). Those payments will be distributed no later than March 27, 2020.

Once again, I appreciate your patience as we work through the various matters that emerged from our response to the COVID-19 crisis. Personnel in the Business Office are happy to answer any questions you have regarding the adjustments of your account (email businessoffice@wlu.edu), and as always, I am happy to answer any questions that you might have on this topic as well.