JMU News

Update on refunds


 

Good afternoon,

We hope this letter finds you well.  As so many of you have transitioned home, and away from campus, we are writing with important news on dining, on-campus housing and parking refunds.  We recognize this pandemic has caused widespread financial concern, and have been working hard to develop an equitable refund methodology for costs that have been paid for the spring semester, while ensuring that the fixed costs of the university are covered.

As an auxiliary enterprise of the university, the dining and residential operations are required to be self-supporting.  They are required to generate enough revenue to cover their costs.  The university has significant financial obligations associated with our dining and residential facilities.  New facilities like D-Hall, E-Hall, Paul Jennings Hall, and Apartments on Grace, as well as our many dorm renovation projects require significant investment by the university.  Construction and renovation of these facilities is funded in part by the issuance of debt, repaid over time through the collection of room and board charges.  In any given year, 30% of room charges and 15-18% of dining charges are attributable to debt obligations.

Additionally, the Office of Residence Life (ORL) has significant personnel costs associated with housing administration and operation.  Personnel costs for ORL can average about 10% of room charges.  Dining Services has to pay an outside contractor for all labor and associated costs of the operations.

While recognizing the need to accommodate those affected by the loss of services, we must also meet our financial obligations.  Not factoring our debt obligations or direct personnel costs into the refund calculation would significantly affect the financial health of the university. 

The calculation for refunding of room charges is as follows:

  • The university starts with a credit amount equal to 50% of the semester charge.
  • The credit is reduced by 27.5% to account for debt obligations and personnel costs.

Example:

      Credit amount for standard residence hall:        $1,357            

      Credit reduction for fixed costs (27.5%):                 373             

      Adjusted credit amount                                    $   984             

 

All students who have left the residence halls for the spring semester will automatically receive a refund.  This includes students who were unable to remove all of their belongings and must return at a later time to do so.  No further action on your part is required.  

The calculation for refunding the meal punch portion of the meal plan is as follows:

  • The university starts with a credit amount equal to 50% of the semester charge provided the student’s last meal was on or before March 14, 2020. The credit is reduced by 25% to account for debt obligations and Dining Services contract management. If a student has used a meal punch on or after March 15, 2020, their refund will be adjusted for use.

Example:

      Credit amount for 19-Plus Plan:                        $1,290*Last meal on or before March 14, 2020

      Credit reduction for fixed costs (25%):                    323             

      Adjusted credit amount                                    $   967             

 

On-campus students – If you are not staying on campus, you will automatically receive a refund determined by the last week your meal plan was used. Students on the Block 50 plans will be refunded based on actual meals used. No further action on your part is required. 

Off-campus students – Please email Cardsrvc@jmu.edu using your @dukes email account requesting a refund for your meal plan. To ensure a timely refund, be sure to include your first name, last name and student identification number. Requests from non-JMU email addresses will not be processed. Your refund will be determined by the last week your meal plan was used. Students on the Block 50 plans will be refunded based on actual meals used. The deadline to request this refund is April 8, 2020. 

Dining Dollars – Unused Dining Dollars will remain on returning students’ accounts and will be available for use into the 2020-21 academic year. These Dining Dollars will need to be spent by the end of the 2021 spring semester. Only graduating seniors will be eligible for a refund of unused Dining Dollars upon graduation.  This refund will be automatically processed and does not require an email to Card Services. 

Dining Dollars Gold and Flex accounts – All unused Dining Dollars Gold and Flex account balances will be available for use into the 2020-21 academic year. These dollars will remain available until spent or upon graduation. If you choose to obtain a refund of your remaining Dining Dollars Gold or Flex balance, you may do so at any time. Please notify CardSrvc@jmu.edu using your @dukes account. To ensure a timely refund, be sure to include your first name, last name and student identification number.  

Parking – Parking registration fees will be refunded according to the established refund policy.  Students will not be required to return their parking permits in order to obtain a refund.   The refund will be credited to your student account based on the type of permit purchased.  The refund amounts are as follows:

 

Full-time commuter or resident                        $38

Part–time or Evening only                                $19

Remote lot only                                                $13

 

Parking refunds will be processed automatically.  No further action is required for your refund.

 

Tuition & Fees – Our faculty have worked tirelessly to move their in-class instruction to an on-line format to ensure your academic progress continues as seamlessly as possible. You will continue to receive course credits toward the completion of your degree and your academic coursework will continue with as little disruption as possible. Traditionally, on-line courses at JMU are priced higher due to enhanced technology needs, course credentialing standards, proctoring requirements and added instructional faculty and IT personnel/equipment demands. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the university has absorbed these costs. Tuition and fees cover all costs associated with course instruction (and related instructional support). In light of these expenses and the course credits that you will continue to receive, there will be no tuition and fee refunds.  

Outstanding Balances — Please note that all outstanding balances on your student account will be deducted from your refund, prior to distribution.  For payment plan participants, this refund will reduce or eliminate your last spring payment which is due May 5. 

Your refund will be automatically transferred to your bank account, provided you have set up direct bank deposit with our vendor, Bank Mobile.  If Bank Mobile does not have your banking information, please log into MyMadison, go to the Student Center and click on the link “My Refunds.”  This link will take you to the Bank Mobile website where you can set up an account and enter your banking information.  If you do not set up direct bank deposit with Bank Mobile, your refund will be processed as a check and mailed to your home address which will delay receipt of your refund.  If you have questions about your direct bank deposit or need assistance, please contact The University Business Office at UBO@jmu.edu or 540/568-6505.  

Thank you for your patience while we determined how to fairly and appropriately allocate these refunds based on the relevant factors and costs, and how to handle the necessary logistics of all of these transactions.  Please review the FAQ page for additional information.   

JMU Business Services

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Published: Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 22, 2020

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