SDSU to reimburse more than $24 million to students due to coronavirus

by Daniel Guerrero, Senior Staff Writer

San Diego State is estimated to reimburse more than $24 million for housing, meal plans and parking permits after the coronavirus pandemic forced many spring semester operations to be cut short, university officials said.

Of the $24 million, the university said it estimates $19.1 million to be returned to students in housing refunds, $5.2 million for meal plans and $125,000 for parking permit reimbursements. 

“Given the shortened residential experience, and with the greatest concern for students and their families impacted by COVID-19 disruptions, SDSU opted to provide students with prorated refunds for housing, meal plans and parking,” the campus spokeswoman Cory Marshall said in an email to The Daily Aztec.

The provided reimbursement totals are an estimate and “the dollar amounts are subject to change pending final accounting,” Marshall said.

Student accounts with credit for paid rent and unused meal plan funds will be reviewed by Students Account Services and refunds may take between four and six weeks to be processed, according to the housing website.

Students were informed of the option for housing and meal plan refunds in early March after all face-to-face courses were brought to a halt, but moving out remained optional. The following week, on March 17, all who were living in university housing were told they had one day to move out of campus housing.

SDSU said it is providing financial support through a fundraising initiative that has raised nearly $70,000 in donations for students who may be experiencing hardships as a result of the health crisis.

“Further, to help mitigate the financial challenge some students are experiencing, a fundraising initiative was launched to generate support for students experiencing emergency housing, food, technology and other emergency needs,” Marshall said.

The end of face-to-face instruction and the indefinite closure of campus facilities, including the Malcolm A. Love Library, has been in effect since mid-March. SDSU announced that all non-essential employees should remain off-campus in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 in a campus-wide email on March 17.

Last week, the university announced that all summer courses would be moved online. There is still no word as to whether fall instruction will face a similar fate.