The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

UMW expected to refund $4 million to students

2 min read

Refunds will cover housing, meal plans and parking passes while excluding tuition, books, lab fees and other academic expenses. (Alicen Hackney | The Blue & Gray Press)



Students will receive partial refunds for housing, meal plans and parking passes, according to an email sent to the student body on April 1.

Residential students will receive a partial refund based on the price of their individual housing using March 15 as the departure date for all students.
For students with meal plans, a partial refund will also be given with the same departure date. The refund is based on the meal plan price, not remaining flex or meal swipes. Paul Messplay, CFO and vice president of administration and finance, said that there is no option to have remaining meal swipes or flex dollars transferred to next semester, “but students can opt to have their refunds for housing, dining and parking applied as a credit to the fall bill.”

As stated in the email, no students will receive refunds for “tuition, books, lab fees, or other academic expenses. Similarly, auxiliary fees will not be refunded.”

“UMW will still incur the full cost of instruction, if not more, in order to complete the academic year,” Messplay said. “By the end of the semester, students will be eligible to receive the same number of earned credits as before the pandemic, which is important to timely progress towards degree and/or graduate school admission.”

Students can choose to either receive a rebate in the form of a check or a direct deposit, or use the refunded credit in their student accounts to go towards the summer or fall semester. This can be done by filling out the Rebate or Future Credit Selection Form by April 8. If this form is not submitted, the student will receive a refund as a check or through direct deposit.

According to Messplay, the total amount that the University will refund will add up to around $4 million.

“The cost of the refunds will have a significant impact on the University’s financial standing,” Messplay said. “We are hopeful that the University will receive some federal and state financial relief, but preliminary estimates indicate that any relief funding will fall far short of our actual costs.”

With the uncertainty of the length of time that the coronavirus will impact daily lives, there has been some discussion about what might occur for the fall semester if social distancing is still necessary to control COVID-19.

“Our immediate focus has been on managing the University through the summer,” Messplay said. “We have had some preliminary discussions about the fall semester in the event that social distancing continues to be recommended. Once we get through the spring semester and have a better understanding of the longer term outlook for the pandemic, we’ll focus on managing the fall semester.”

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