Washington State University is preparing to let students return to campus in August but
originally warned that housing reimbursements will not occur, as they did back in the spring.
As expected, many universities are making changes to campus life as a result of COVID-19. These new limitations include fewer meeting times, fewer people in a room and fewer occupants to a dorm.
However, the financial aspect of returning to campus has raised some concerns, especially for students planning on living in campus housing at Washington State University.
Students at Washington State were expected to pay for housing for the entire semester at the beginning of the month, even if the semester gets cut short. In fact, they even required students to sign a contract acknowledging that they will not get refunded if they are forced to leave campus due to a second shutdown, should one occur.
WSU has since retracted their original intentions regarding student housing after public backlash. A petition played a large part in the university’s decision to be overturned as well. The housing agreement for the upcoming academic year now includes refunds for possible closures due to the coronavirus.
Students were also not allowed to terminate their housing contracts for the upcoming year, so it was vital that they get reimbursed for housing costs for times where they are not allowed on the WSU campus. This has since been updated as well, allowing students to cancel their housing contracts up until August 1. This updated agreement is especially important to freshman students at WSU, who are required to live on campus unless they have a waiver for financial hardships.
WSU, like many other colleges, lost out on funding due to COVID-19 so they are likely trying to cover the cost. However, students are not at fault and will not be held financially responsible for housing during times they will not be allowed to occupy the residence, thanks to public pressure.