Board of Trustees votes to refund students’ housing, meal plans

The refunds will cost up to $8.5 million and will be issued directly to students’ accounts on April 17.


IVA-North. Students who moved off campus due to coronavirus will receive partial refunds. Photo by Alex Liscio

Kristen Grau, Editor in Chief

Up to $8.5 million will go toward partially refunding students on their housing and meal plans if they’re no longer using them, the Board of Trustees decided Tuesday.

The Board of Trustees, a 13-member group of people who make major financial decisions for FAU, passed this motion unanimously via conference call. According to an email that was sent to residential students, the refunds will go to students’ accounts on April 17.

“The refund will not go to any student who is choosing to stay on the campus and utilize their plan — those students have made their decisions,” said FAU Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. “Those students who have departed, and informed us of their departure, will receive that refund.”

The refund will also vary depending on what meal plan and housing option you originally paid for. Atwater said that $8.5 million is “probably a little beyond what will be necessary” to pay everybody back.

Five million dollars will come from one FAU account and $3.5 million will come from another. Before taking out the $8.5 million, the two accounts totaled over $152 million. 

Students will be reimbursed from March 27 to the end of the spring semester, according to the Board of Trustees’ plan.

The total amount FAU will spend on the refunds depends on how many students move off campus and don’t use their meal plan. That means FAU may end up spending less than $8.5 million in total.

“I would say we are probably the most judicious in terms of the timing as it related to refunds for our students,” Atwater said. 

UCF, FSU, UWF and UF have all already committed to issuing refunds to their students.

“All of us know that as soon as this is put to bed this week, we are all turning our attention to developing those plans, looking at all the scenarios that would be coming at us,” Atwater said,  “and you can imagine that will be national narrative [and] state narrative of state budget decisions.”

Kristen Grau is the editor-in-chief of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her at @_kristengrau.