The University of New Mexico will refund over 1,110 students for their student housing and meal plans, after forcing them to vacate eight weeks early, according to Residence Life and Student Housing.
Four days before Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued a statewide “stay at home” order March 24, students were instructed through email to evacuate from their on-campus housing by that same day. As of March 28, Lujan Grisham said there were at least 208 cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico.
Wayne Sullivan, the director of UNM Residence Life and Student Housing (RLSH) said in an email that although they began processing student adjustments on March 26, it could take several weeks to complete the process.
Student’s refunds will be uploaded as a credit to the resident’s Bursar account, according to several UNM officials. Sullivan said since room charges for the semester had been uploaded to the residents’ Bursar accounts in January, that is how they will issue the refunds.
Once student’s refunds have been processed the Bursar’s Office will either:
- reduce a student’s existing balance due to UNM
- reduce a student’s existing balance to $0, then process an actual refund of money to the student for the excess
- an actual refund of money for the entire housing refund or reduction will be processed to the student
Refunds for students’ meal plans and LoboCash are processed in a similar way but are processed through the LoboCard Office.
University Bursar Daniel Borrego said as of March 26, five refunds had been processed through RLSH and none had been refunded through LoboCard for meal plans.
Borrego said that although it is too early to tell, he expects there could be an increase in the number of refund requests the Bursar's office receives due to COVID-19.
“At this point, only a handful of adjustments (refunds) have been processed by those respective offices to Bursar accounts so the number of actual refunds of money we’ve processed is no different than prior years,” Borrego said.
Amanda Britt is the photo editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AmandaBritt__