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U. Minnesota Students Claim School is Shortchanging Them on Room and Board Refunds

U. Minnesota Students Claim School is Shortchanging Them on Room and Board Refunds

“They’re screwing their students out of so much money”

This is going to become such a mess. Students all over the country are going to demand refunds.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:

Students say University of Minnesota shortchanging them for room and board refunds

The University of Minnesota is being criticized for coming up short when refunding room and board to students who had to move off campus because of the pandemic.

Most Twin Cities students pay more than $5,000 per semester for a combination of student housing and meal plans, but the U announced this month it would refund students $1,200 for unused housing and dining services. Half of the spring semester, which spans from Jan. 21 to May 13, remained when the university canceled in-person classes at its five campuses on March 11 and encouraged students not to return after spring break.

Students, regents and some state lawmakers have criticized the $1,200 refund amount. They say that colleges should not be pinching pennies at the expense of indebted students who have had their education upended and are missing out on half a semester’s worth of campus services.

“They’re screwing their students out of so much money,” said Mackenzie Griffin, a U sophomore majoring in economics. Her full semester bill for housing and unlimited dining at the U’s 17th Avenue residence hall totals about $5,500. The $1,200 refund covers a little more than a fifth of those costs.

In the past two weeks, U students have circulated petitions with hundreds of signatures asking for a “fair refund” for unused housing and dining services. A separate petition with more than 3,100 signatures goes a step further by calling for a partial tuition refund to reflect the switch from an in-person college education to online courses.


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I’ll bet the same students are also demanding that the university keep paying all the dining hall and dormitory staff. Out of which money should it do that?

healthguyfsu | April 1, 2020 at 2:43 pm

Partial refunds are going to be the reality for room and board. Zero refunds are going to be the reality for tuition.

    nordic_prince in reply to healthguyfsu. | April 4, 2020 at 9:20 am

    I agree that zero refunds for tuition will probably be the case, but I think the students might have a case for partial refund – if they signed up for on-campus classes, then the mandatory switch to online classes was not part of the original agreement. If (big if) there were an actual contract, then that would be breach of contract.

Anything that contributes to the financial bankruptcy of. universities to match their intellectual and moral bankruptcy is a plus

Schools that refund more will be able to point to that in future marketing materials, while those that shortchange students will probably feel a bit of a pinch when it comes to competing with those more generous schools.

As well they should.