MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (4/3/2020) — At a special meeting conducted remotely today, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved the Comprehensive Student Fee Refund Plan proposed by University President Joan Gabel. This systemwide plan considers specific student expenses and fees and outlines appropriate financial credit for these charges in response to COVID-19 and, more specifically, the recent “Stay at Home” executive order for Minnesota.
“Governor Walz’s statewide ‘Stay at Home’ order quickly changed the dynamics of how all Minnesotans live, learn and work. It also triggered the need for the University to revisit previous decisions to address this new way of operations, particularly for students who were told they could not return to campus,” said Board Chair Ken Powell. “I’m grateful for the decisive leadership President Gabel has shown throughout the University’s response to COVID-19. The plan approved by the Board today reflects our shared priorities to focus on students first as the University responds to this pandemic.”
The Comprehensive Student Refund Plan offers a 100% credit for many charges related to student housing and access to other University services, prorated from March 28, the first official day of the Governor’s order, through the last day of finals in May or the end of individual contracts. These expenses include:
- Housing and Residential Life services (housing, dining plans for on-campus and off-campus residents, flex-dine/dining dollars and voluntary meal plans);
- parking fees (on campuses with University-owned parking);
- recreation and wellness fee (the comparable fee in Rochester, from the YMCA, will not be charged in April and May);
- transportation and safety (fee only applies for Duluth and Twin Cities campuses), and;
- student services fee (will be refunded at 50% of fee that would have applied March 28 through the last day of finals in May).
“The rapid evolution of the public health response to COVID-19 has forced us to make significant, real-time decisions. I know these decisions affect many lives and I don’t take that lightly,” Gabel said. “Our world has continued to change since our initial decision on student services and fees and I’ve heard from our students during that time. As a tuition-paying parent, I welcome and appreciate student feedback. We considered what we heard and what we’ve learned and adapted our plan to reflect not only what students were requesting, but additional fees that we felt were fair to refund based on conditions. We will continue to take this approach as this unique public health challenge persists.”
Following today’s Board action, President Gabel shared details of the approved plan directly with students and their parents. Students are encouraged to review those details to estimate their individual financial credit. Totals will vary depending on each student’s home campus and how they specifically engage with the services covered in the plan. Students do not need to take action to receive their credit. This will happen automatically, with credit appearing in students’ individual University accounts within one month. Students with questions about the plan are encouraged to contact the One Stop Student Services team or business office on their individual campuses with questions.
The Board of Regents is scheduled to meet next on April 7, 2020. Visit regents.umn.edu for more information.
- Campus Affairs