On Sunday, March 29, Sean Jones, a student at UM, started a petition on Change.org that requested the University of Montevallo provide refunds to students for housing costs and other fees.
Since students paid tuition and other fees for resources with the expectation the resources would be available for full semester, Jones stated that it is within the responsibility of the University to refund this money.
“It’s the right thing to do,” said Celena McAlpine, the student who started a petition that recently called for the University to implement a pass/fail grade system.
Some schools including Harvard University, Stanford University and Ohio State University are offering partial refunds for weeks not spent on campus.
Some universities in Alabama have also created plans for refunds, including the University of Alabama. UA has offered a refund for housing, dining and parking; UA administration has also offered an option that allows students to apply their refund to their bill for fall semester.
Many students have used personal finances, scholarships and loans to pay for these resources. With the campus closing its doors, students are unable to utilize resources that the University has provided.
Resources that Jones mentioned include “housing, meal plans, course specific facilities and parking.”
The petition currently has almost 700 signatures.
Several students who signed the petition stated that it was unfair to ask students to pay for something when they won’t benefit from it. Many students also cited how the refund could help them financially during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I receive some student loans but a majority of my schooling is paid out of pocket by myself,” said student Ellen Nabors. “Having the remainder of the semester refunded to me would help me significantly because I am also out of work and cannot afford my other bills.”
Jones who created the petition was unavailable for comment.
The UM Administration has not yet made a decision as to if they will refund housing and meal plan costs, as well as other fees.