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Home University Credits, Refunds for Housing and Meal Plans Approved

Credits, Refunds for Housing and Meal Plans Approved

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The Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees approved a pair of proposals designed to provide financial relief for ATU students with spring 2020 university housing contracts and meal plans during a special called meeting on Sunday, March 22.

On Friday, March 20, the ATU Department of Residence Life informed the 2,155 students living on the Russellville campus during the spring 2020 semester that ATU student housing will close on Friday, April 3, as part of the institution's response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. ATU students citing personal safety, access to internet, no other available housing, academic distress or other legitimate reasons are allowed to petition to remain on campus beyond April 3.

For those students who have or will be vacating their student housing by April 3, the solutions approved by the ATU Board of Trustees will allow for future credits or refunds as appropriate based upon each student's academic status.

"It is our hope that these solutions will remove one concern from the minds of students and their families," said Dr. Robin E. Bowen, ATU president. "I appreciate the patience, grace and understanding of our students and their families as we have worked to reach a resolution that serves our students and their families to the greatest extent possible while ensuring the financial stability of the university. Our focus is on a successful completion to the spring 2020 semester through virtual instruction and the continued support of ATU students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends.

“I want to express my thanks to the board for this emergency meeting and for your support,” continued Bowen. “Staff members worked overnight Friday and all day Saturday to draft these proposals. I cannot begin to express my appreciation to them. Please know that we know these policies will impact the finances of the university this year and next, but we believe this is the right thing to do. Circumstances are changing at a furious pace, and there are major ground shifts almost daily. I appreciate all that the board and our staff have done to make these credit and refund solutions possible.”

The board-approved solutions are detailed below.

ATU students seeking more information may contact the ATU Department of Residence Life weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at (479) 968-0376 or housing@atu.edu.

APPROVED HOUSING SOLUTION

The following prorated credits and refunds, as applicable, are approved for Arkansas Tech University students on the Russellville campus in good standing who will be moving out of the residence halls during the spring 2020 semester due to COVID-19:

• Students in good standing will receive a prorated credit for the spring 2020 semester only based on the date they check out of the residence halls. Students who voluntarily check out of their residence hall rooms by April 3 would receive a credit for residence life. This percentage will decrease on a prorated basis determined by their checkout date. The credit would be applied to the students’ remaining housing account balance starting on April 3. Any additional credit would be applied to a future housing term within the next 12 months.

• Students in good standing, who will complete their degree requirements in May 2020 and will no longer be eligible for student housing beyond the spring 2020 semester, will receive a prorated refund based on the date they check out. The refund would be applied to their student account.

This is not a waiver of any other contractual obligations of the student under the terms of the Residence Life Housing Agreement.

If other extenuating circumstances exist, a student may appeal following a process that will be established through the ATU Department of Residence Life. All appeals must be received no later than Aug. 1, 2020. Students who have applied to continue to live in the residence halls based on special circumstances --- including personal safety, access to the internet, no other available housing, academic distress or other legitimate reasons --- will continue to pay the residence hall fees.

APPROVED MEAL PLAN SOLUTION

The following prorated credits and refunds for food services, as applicable, are approved for Arkansas Tech University students who have meal plans and will move out of the residence halls and for commuters who will no longer come to campus for classes during the spring 2020 semester due to COVID-19:

• On-campus housing students in good standing will receive a prorated meal plan credit based on the date they check out of the residence halls. Students who voluntarily check out of their residence hall rooms would receive a meal plan credit for the remainder of the spring semester. This percentage will decrease on a prorated basis determined by their checkout date. The credit would be applied to the students’ remaining meal plan balance. Any remaining meal plan credit would be applied to a future meal plan cost during a semester term within the next 12 months.

• On-campus housing students and commuter students in good standing, who will complete their degree requirements in May 2020 and no longer be eligible for meal plans beyond the spring 2020 semester, will receive a prorated meal plan refund and any unspent declining card balance dollars will be returned based upon what is applicable for each student’s plan. The refund will be posted to each applicable student’s account.

• Commuter students in good standing will receive a prorated meal plan credit as of March 18, 2020, or later, based upon last usage of their spring meal plan. The credit calculation will be based upon a prorated percentage of unused meal plan weeks left in the spring semester due to Arkansas Tech’s move to online instruction. The prorated credits would be applied to future meal plan cost during the next 12 months.

• Students who use declining balance cards, other than those who completed their degree requirements in May 2020, and who are eligible for meal plans beyond the spring 2020 semester and who have unspent declining card balance dollars remaining by the end of spring semester will automatically roll their declining card balances over to the next semester. The rollover declining card balances will expire, if not used by Sept. 30, 2020.

This is not a waiver of any other contractual obligation of the student under the terms of the meal plan agreement. If other extenuating circumstances exist, a student may appeal following a process that will be established. All appeals must be received no later than Aug. 1, 2020. Students who have applied to continue to live in the residence halls (beyond April 3) and will be using their meal plans based on special circumstances --- including personal safety, access to the internet, no other available housing, academic distress or other legitimate reasons --- will continue to pay the meal plan rates.