Students roll cardboard boxes past RPCC while moving out on March 15. The University promised rebates on housing for all on-campus students, but details are yet unannounced.

Boris Tsang / Sun Photography Editor

Students roll cardboard boxes past RPCC while moving out on March 15. The University promised rebates on housing for all on-campus students, but details are yet unannounced.

March 25, 2020

Two Weeks After Promise of Room and Board Rebates, Refund Details Still Up in Air

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With in-person classes canceled, the on-campus student population dwindling and dorm rooms vacated, Cornell families have been left wondering how the administration will handle promised rebates on room and board fees.

With thousands of on-campus students moving out months earlier than anticipated, Ryan Lombardi, vice president for student and campus life, announced that the University planned to offer “rebates on housing and dining” just hours after President Martha E. Pollack’s March 13 decision to cancel classes until April 6.

Students remaining on campus with permission of the University past March 29 will not be eligible for rebates, according to the email.

But as of Tuesday evening, over ten days after Lombardi’s initial pledge to offer prorated housing and dining fees, there have been no further announcements addressing when students could expect rebates or what percentage of their bill would be returned.

Upon reaching out to the University for further comment, The Sun was referred to Cornell’s coronavirus website.

David Glickman ’23, who lived in a single in High Rise 5 before returning home, appreciated Cornell’s decision to offer rebates — but expressed frustration over how slowly information has trickled down to the student body.

“I think it is fairly straightforward that we should not be charged for resources we are not using,” Glickman said. “My friends at other universities have [already] received rebates. I think it is fair we do as well, but I’m not too sure when that will materialize.”

Peer institutions, such as Stanford University, have decided to officially eliminate their spring quarter housing and dining fees, which would have been set to begin on March 30. Others, like Duke University, pledged to “reimburse residential students for paid but unused housing and dining fees.”

Cornell charges its undergraduates between $8,772 and $11,510 per year for a variety of different on-campus housing options and an additional $2,515 to $3,659 per semester for meal plans. Graduate and professional students living in the Hasbrouck Community pay an average of $955 per month for rent.