KU tells students it will credit unused housing, dining and parking permit costs

photo by: John English, Special to the Journal-World

This file photo from April 13, 2016, shows Daisy Hill, including Oswald Hall, back left, Self Hall, back right, Hashinger Hall, front left, and Lewis Hall, front right, on the University of Kansas campus.

Story updated at 4:37 p.m. Friday

After thousands of University of Kansas students were told in late March to pack their bags and finish the academic year online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, questions immediately arose as to whether the state’s flagship university would refund the costs for housing, dining and parking plans that students purchase at the beginning of the school year.

KU announced Friday that it would be providing credits in some cases and refunds in others as a solution to the unprecedented circumstances that forced the university’s campuses to operate remotely.

The university, which normally houses over 5,000 residents, will provide credits to student accounts for residents who have moved out and completed the necessary check-out paperwork with KU Student Housing between March 17 and April 9. The credit will take a month to process, the university announced.

The credit amount will depend on which building a student lived in and what type of room they had, KU said. The credit will be prorated based on April and May charges.

The roughly 500 students who were granted emergency exemptions to continue living in university housing will not be eligible for credits.

If a student has his or her housing paid for through a scholarship or third party, such as KU Athletics, the credit will go to the paying entity, not the student, KU said.

KU cannot automatically roll over the credit to count for a student’s housing in the 2020-2021 academic year because of rules on financial aid. If a student wanted to use the credit applied to their student account to pay for future housing, that would be their decision to make.

There are more options available for students regarding on-campus dining passes. Students who purchased a Gold, Silver or Bronze plan who are returning to KU in the fall will have their 2019-20 unused balances rolled over.

If students are leaving KU for graduation or a transfer to another school, they are eligible for a refund equal to the amount of their unused dining plan funds. The refund must be requested by June 30, 2020, for KU to determine the student’s refund eligibility.

For students who lived in scholarship halls, meal plans are paid to KU Housing and aren’t part of the dining plans that will be rolled over. Scholarship hall meal plan balances will be credited back to scholarship hall residents on a prorated basis, KU said.

KU Transportation Services announced Friday that it would also issue partial refunds to students who bought annual or spring semester parking permits for the 2019-2020 academic year. KU Parking runs independently of the university and makes its revenue entirely from parking passes and ticketing fees.

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