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Refund FAQ

Thank you for your patience as we have worked through the many questions you and your families have had about refunds for services that were interrupted because of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Western Carolina University has been authorized to issue prorated refunds of housing and dining payments. Unless a refund of any other kind is already permitted by University policy, WCU will not be issuing refunds for any other services or fees.

Explore the information below for more details and frequently asked questions pertaining to refunds...

When will I receive my meal plan and housing refund?

Refunds will be processed as quickly as possible. Meal plan refunds will be processed first, followed by refunds for housing. Our goal is for students to receive refunds by the end of April.

Why will I not receive a refund for tuition and other fees or charges?

Per guidance from the University of North Carolina System, Western Carolina University has been authorized to issue prorated refunds of housing and dining payments. This refund process falls outside of established WCU and UNC System policies and procedures and is authorized for only the Spring 2020 semester. Consistent with its established university policies and procedures, WCU will not authorize refunds for any additional services or fees.

Will WCU allow me to “roll-over” or credit my meal plan and housing refund to the next term’s tuition and fees billing?

No. Refunds will be processed as quickly as possible to provide funds now. We also want to avoid any possibility of financial aid implications by crediting money to a future semester’s billing. If they choose, students and families can save the refunds and use for future expenses at WCU or other needs on their own.

How will I receive my meal plan and housing refund?

If you have set up direct deposit in myWCU under Accounts & Payments, the refund will be deposited directly into the account you provided for direct deposit.

If you have not set up direct deposit, the check will be mailed to the home address. The paper checks will be payable to the student.

I applied and was approved to stay on campus after 3/21/20 but then left campus after my circumstances changed. Will I still get a refund?

Yes, but your refund may be based upon a new prorated date based on when you notified Residential Living of your change in status.

I don’t live on campus, but I have a meal plan. Will I get a refund?

Yes. Due to modifications in service, and to promote social distancing, all commuter meal plans that have not been used in the past five days will be canceled with an effective end date of 3/21/2020.

Please see the “How are refunds calculated?” response below for more details.

What will happen to my unused declining balance?

If you are no longer living on campus, your remaining declining balance will be refunded.

Please see “How are refunds calculated?” response below for more details.

What will happen to my unused meal swipes?

 

If you no longer live on campus, your meal plan will be refunded based on a prorated date calculation.

Please see “How are refunds calculated?” response below for more details.

How are meal plan and housing refunds calculated?

 

The refund you receive will be based on the following procedures:

  • Any refund from meal plans or housing will first be applied to any outstanding balance on your student account (e.g., any fines, fees, etc.). Generally, if your refund is greater than your outstanding balance, you will receive a payment for the difference. If you still owe WCU a balance, or if some other special circumstance applies, you may not receive a refund.
  • Meal plan refunds are prorated based on the final day residential students were permitted on campus, 3/21/2020, or their approved housing exception date, whichever occurred later.
    Meal plan refunds are calculated based on a daily rate basis that factors in the number of days that meal service is available to students, and not the actual number of meals served. This is because the university pays for utilities, purchases food, and provides staffing independent of how and when a student chooses to eat. WCU does not know in advance how many students eat a meal on any given day, so the cost of providing a number of meals is broken down into a rate that is paid for each day of service being available. This is the standard operating procedure at WCU for all meal plan refunds when students withdraw from the university during the middle of the term.
    All declining balance (DB) remaining on the student’s account at the time of cancellation will be refunded. This is not standard WCU operating procedure, but due to the nature of this crisis and the closure of campus dining locations, a special exception is being made for this semester to provide you with all your remaining DB. Students still remaining on campus will not receive a refund for their active meal plan.
  • University housing refunds are prorated based on the final day that residential students were permitted on campus, 3/21/2020, or their approved housing exception date, whichever occurred later. This is the standard operating procedure at WCU for all housing refunds when students withdraw from the university during the middle of the term. Students still remaining on campus will receive a $150 refund.
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