CNA Staff, Aug 4, 2020 / 05:19 pm (CNA).- As the coronavirus pandemic limits class schedules and sizes, the Catholic University of America announced its plan to return to some students a portion of their tuition for the upcoming semester.
John Garvey, president of the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., noted the adjustments for the fall 2020 semester.
“Last May, we committed to fully reopening our campus at the earliest possible opportunity. Since that time we have been carefully gauging the trajectory of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” he said July 31.
“I am very sorry to report that developments in public health conditions over the past few weeks have forced us to conclude that it is simply too early to bring everyone back to campus.”
When classes begin in August, the number of students who may reside on campus will be limited to freshman and transfers students with fewer than 30 college credits. As required by the District of Columbia, students arriving on campus from one of the 27 states designated as “high risk” will be required to quarantine for 14 days. The university’s orientation and the first two weeks of classes will then be held online to comply with the requirements.
A majority of sophomore, junior, and senior students are not permitted to live on campus but will instead conduct all of their classes online. Exceptions will be made for some international students, residents assistants, and students who are unable to pursue studies at their permanent address.
“I understand this is disappointing news, because it is disappointing to us. But the large and sustained increase in infections nationwide poses a serious risk that we will be unable to provide the care necessary for a full complement of our student population,” said Garvey.
“We remain confident that we can attend properly to a smaller cohort, while providing our freshmen with the best possible transition to college.”
The CUA president issued a statement Aug. 3 outlining the refunds and tuition decreases that will be provided to those students who will not attend the university as they expected.
Students will receive a 10% refund for this semester’s tuition costs if they planned to attend at least some of their classes in-person and are now forced to attend these classes online. There is no tuition reduction for classes that are traditionally taken online.
Also, those students who planned to stay on campus but are no longer eligible will receive a full refund for on-campus room and board. The students off-campus who purchased a meal plan will have that plan honored and additional dining plans will be available for these students.
The refunds will be processed around the time that the semester begins, Aug. 17. Students who wish to roll over their credit balance for the spring semester should notify Enrollment Services.
Garvey also encouraged students struggling financially under the pandemic to reach out to the school to see about other financial opportunities.
“Finally, undergraduate students who have suffered economic distress specifically related to the pandemic are encouraged to appeal for additional financial assistance. Through the generosity of University benefactors, the Office of Student Financial Assistance continues to make one-time emergency tuition grants to students directly impacted by the pandemic.”
Garvey said the university will continue to monitor the situation of coronavirus at the school and determine when more in-person courses and other activities may begin. He said the university will continue to follow CDC and D.C. guidelines, and applauded the efforts the school has taken to keep everyone safe.
“Let me offer my thanks to each of our students, our faculty and staff, and our community of parents and alumni. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic we have worked together to deal with this crisis,” he said.
“It’s worth repeating that this is a disappointment for all of us. But it is only a temporary one. We will continue moving forward through this pandemic together.”