Students to receive financial compensation

In an email to all Marshall University students Wednesday afternoon, University President Jerome “Jerry” Gilbert announced that students would receive emergency financial assistance in the form of account credits and/or prorated refunds to help compensate for the disruption to normal university services.

One student was very pleased because he can’t work during this time, and the money will go a long way for him.

“As someone who has been furloughed from work due to the Corona virus pandemic and not knowing when I can go back to work, this partial refund that Marshall is giving out to students is a welcome sight to me,” Junior commuter Michael Wentz said. “It’s a little extra cash to help me with basic things like gas for my car, food or any other things that I need during the quarantine. I am honestly very thankful that Marshall is helping people during this tough time.”

The prorated amount will be 37.5% of the costs of the individual items for the spring semester and 37.5% was for six of the 16-week semester impacted by the pandemic. The items that students will receive the support for are housing contracts, meal plans/FLEX, parking permits and Rec Center Student Fees.

I have made an in-depth breakdown below:

For housing, those who chose to go home for remote-learning period will receive 37.5% back of their semester housing back, which is based on the cost to live in whichever building the student chose.

For meal plans/FLEX, those with unlimited meal plans and left campus will receive 37.5% back of their semester charges. Students holding other types of meal plans that left campus are set to get back an amount that is equal to number of unused meals. Everyone with FLEX dollars that left campus will be credited the amount equal to the balance remaining. Students who chose to stay on campus will have their meal plans remain active and still receive meals through the dining delivery service, at the end of the semester their remaining amount of FLEX will be credited to their account.

The university is doing the same prorated account credit for those with parking permits, the credits will be for those who left campus. Students who had a surface permit should expect to receive $31.88 in credit to their account, while those with a garage permit should expect to receive $59.63 in credit to their account.

Finally, the university and the recreation center are offering the same 37.5% prorated credit for the student fee every student pays to be able to use the Rec Center. All students should expect their account to be credited $77.25.

Another student who lived on campus but is now back home for remote learning has very mixed feelings about the assistance.

“I think it’s a great idea that they’re refunding students for the semester, but it varies between each person how beneficial it is,” freshman Jarron Paxton said. “For example, I lived on campus, I have a meal plan, I have a parking pass, and other miscellaneous things I’m getting refunded for and I’m barely getting over half the amount it takes to live in the freshman dorms. I think Marshall probably doesn’t have enough money to give people back what they deserve but I guess it’s better than nothing. The money nonetheless is beneficial”

President that the goal is to have all the money credited to the accounts by April 29, as well as wanted to make certain people had their refund options set up on E-Refund by April 20.

At the bottom of the email were some asterisk to the emergency financial assistance as those unaffected by remote learning, students staying on campus, students who have already completely withdrawn from the university as well as students who receive money from a third party to pay for their housing and/or dining plan (including athletes on full scholarship) will not receive any emergency financial assistance.

Spencer DuPuis can be contacted at [email protected]