BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - Virginia Tech announced it will not give tuition refunds after the school moved classes and spring commencement online in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
University President Tim Sands made the announcement Thursday in a virtual town hall meeting with students, parents, staff and alumni. He said the school’s instructional costs have gone up after the university moved nearly 6,000 of its classes online.
Many colleges in the country have not issued tuition refunds, but some have reimbursed certain fees, including housing and dining costs, while dealing with tight budgets brought on by the public health crisis. Sands said school officials are looking at the “possibility of offering temporary refunds” for fees related to healthcare, sports, and transportation.
He added that the school has offered refunds for parking fees, rebates for on-campus housing, and has allowed dining plans to rollover.
Nearly 500 students who needed to stay in on-campus housing have been allowed to remain at the school, the Roanoke Times reported, and about 11,000 students remain in off-campus housing.
Two Virginia Tech students and two employees have tested positive for the virus. More than 400 people at the school who traveled recently have also opted to quarantine themselves following a risk assessment by health care workers, Sands said.
With only essential employees allowed on campus, the school is also attempting to assign students who work at the university to different tasks. Administrators are encouraging students experiencing financial difficulties to contact the school following large donations into the college’s emergency fund in the past two weeks.
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