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Will There Be College Refunds For Coronavirus?

Miami University told students it would issue "appropriate" room and board refunds.
Miami University told students it would issue "appropriate" room and board refunds.

At the top of the list for colleges and universities nationwide is keeping students safe and healthy in the midst of the coronavirus, but many parents are wondering if having their kids sent home will mean a refund for room and board.

In a Facebook Live chat Monday night, the brought together state experts in Kentucky to talk about issues affecting the state's schools, including possible refunds and graduation changes. President of the Kentucky Council on Post Secondary Education Aaron Thompson said he has a meeting scheduled with the state's colleges and universities Tuesday afternoon to talk about some of the issues.

Of possible room and board refunds, Thompson said "We're going to have to look at that as well as some of the other sorts of fees possibly that they pay for in situations face-to-face as well as lab fees."

However, Thompson says schools in Kentucky have faced cuts for the last 11 or 12 years and any refunds would mean millions of dollars in losses to campuses.

Ohio colleges and universities are also considering whether to give students some of their money back.

Miami University told students as long as they were gone by March 27 they would be issued "an appropriate" room and board refund, according to The Journal News.

It's unclear if Xavier University will issue room and board refunds, based on information posted online.

At the University of Cincinnati some students are circulating a petition to get a partial refund.

The Columbus Dispatch reports most colleges and universities have not made any decisions. The University of Akron told students if they don't stay on campus for online classes they will not be given refunds for time not spend in residence halls.

"Many of the costs ... are sunk costs; we can't get them back," Sharon Johnson, vice president of student affairs at the University of Akron told the paper. "There will be some discussion about what the ramifications are for students and universities."

The Dispatch reports Denison University is "developing information" about possile refunds but didn't have information to share by March 11."

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