Lipscomb University will be refunding, via credit or refund, spring semester room-and-board fees on-campus residents and their parents already had paid before the COVID-19 outbreak forced the campus to close, according to President Randy Lowry.
Those same students — who had left their belongings in their dorm rooms before leaving for the extended spring break that turned into the full closure of the campus for the semester — also will be able to reunite with their belongings.
Lowry detailed these solutions Thursday in a live video with the Lipscomb Community.
“We think already, it cost a school like Lipscomb, 5… 6… 8… $10 million, and that’s before we even get into next fall,” said Lowry of the losses due to the COVID shutdown.
About 1,500 people were planning to return to campus living for the rest of the semester at the time the university instructed students that, because of the pandemic, they were not to come back this spring.
As of Sunday, April 5, there 327,253 cases and 9,302 deaths associated with COVID-19 across the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are 3,321 confirmed cases and 43 deaths in Tennessee, according to those CDC numbers.
While Lipscomb classes have transitioned to on-line learning this spring and for the summer, there are an awful lot of empty beds and dorm rooms on the Green Hills campus.
2020-2021 undergraduate room and board costs are listed on Lipscomb’s website at $13,380 a year, $6,690 a semester.
Lowry knows students and parents are concerned about the money they spent on the room and board they are no longer using.
“We will be refunding on a prorated basis the cost of room and board from the end of the extended spring break to the end of the semester,” said Lowry. “We will have either a credit on your account or a refund to you by the first of May.”
University students who are not graduating this spring or summer 2020, who are eligible for a prorated room and board credit, will have the credit first applied to any outstanding spring balance, and any remaining credit will be applied to the student’s account as a scholarship for the upcoming fall 2020 term.
For students graduating this spring or summer 2020, any eligible prorated room and board credit will be applied to their student accounts before May 1. All credits will first be applied to any outstanding balance and any excess will be automatically refunded to the student, according to the university.
While residential life already has established a process by which students may return to campus to retrieve their belongings, many students are unable to return to Nashville for the time being.
If students are unable to return to campus, the faculty on campus will be working with Laurie Sain to contact students and find out what belongs to you and needs to be sent back home to you. Any questions about retrieving belongings from on-campus housing are to be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lowry is looking past this summer, when classes again will be online, and to a return to normalcy in the autumn.
“We are fully planning that in August, this university will open again in all its fullness, and our community will gather again and continue the good work that we have done for 130 years.”