Rider develops plan for partial housing and dining refund

By Lauren Minore

In light of Rider University’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), university officials announced that a plan was being developed to offer refunds or financial credits for students who were billed room and board and meal plan charges for the spring 2020 semester and who do not currently remain on campus during the remote learning period, in a campus-wide email on March 31.

The refund or credit will be prorated for the period between March 23, the first day of the extra week of spring break, through May 12, the last day of the spring semester, according to the email. 

“There are many details that still must be finalized before we can start issuing credits and/or refunds, and we ask for your patience as we do so. There will be more information forthcoming as this process is solidified,” the email said. 

The email indicated that financial aid and scholarship policies may impact the final amount of students’ refund or credit. 

Kristine Brown, a spokeswoman for the university, said that a “dedicated” group consisting of representatives from financial aid, bursar, dining services, residence life and business and finance have been meeting to review all considerations related to financial credits and refunds, including room and board.  

“We are now working through the more detailed calculations of that plan with the intent to announce these later in April, after securing Board of Trustees approval,” Brown said. 

Senior Class President and political science major Charles Palmer commended the university for its response to COVID-19 and for working on a solution, although he believes they are entitled to a refund or credit. 

“Personally, I believe the university is doing an excellent job at being transparent with the refund process,” Palmer said. “I also understand that many students are eager to receive the refunds they deserve, however, I urge everyone to be patient because these things take time.”

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