• Julian Gregorio

Your dining and housing refund might be less than RMU promised

School to cut "RMU grant" from those getting refunds

President Howard said on March 16 that RMU will refund housing based on a pro-rated 37% and dining based on the remaining Freedom Card balance — but you might actually receive less than promised.

That's because RMU could reduce your financial aid simply because you receive a refund, and therefore reduce the amount you get back.

"To know that the possible reduction of my grants was basically hidden from me is not okay," said Julie Benish, who was expecting to receive the full 37% refund as promised.

A financial aid counselor said they were told to reduce the RMU grant.

"There will be a few adjustments made to your account over the next few weeks ... potentially also reducing the RMU grant because the room/meal plan charges are being adjusted," the counselor told a student in an email. The student shared the emails with the Mythbuster and blurred out names out of privacy concerns.

The counselor said they didn't have any more specifics at this point and did not state how much the grant would be reduced by.

The Moon Mythbuster reached out to a financial aid counselor who confirmed the planned grant cut.

Ms. Benish said that she was looking forward to getting a much-needed refund at a time when many students' incomes have been severed until further notice.

"It seemed like RMU was doing a noble thing by giving us some of our money back."

Students are now getting the feeling that Bobby Mo ain't noble no mo'.

President Howard had said in a previous email that "RMU will issue a credit to those students who live in university-owned housing," and for those who leave by March 22 they would get a "pro-rated credit of 37%." The credit would then fall to 31% for those who leave between March 22 and March 29, and anyone who leaves after March 29 would get no credit.

The president had also promised that "returning students will receive credit based upon their declining balance at the time they check out of the residence halls."

But now, the university is going back on another statement, as they have scrapped those dates and started telling students to leave as soon as possible. A residence life staff member said the Board of Trustees is worried because COVID-19 cases have risen in Allegheny County.

Students were originally allowed to request to stay on campus, but Residence Life sent an email Thursday telling students it is no longer an option.

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