BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - When LSU officials first announced the school was moving to an online format for the remainder of the spring semester due to the coronavirus outbreak, students were urged, if they could, to pack up their things and head home.
But with half the semester still left to go, some parents say LSU charged them an early move-out penalty fee for leaving.
“This is our first child going here [LSU] as a freshman, and this is what they do to us, on the first semester that our child’s there. It’s just discouraging,” said one parent who wanted to remain anonymous.
This dad of a freshman at LSU didn’t want his name publicized, but recently had to move his son out of the Laville Honors House mid-semester due to the coronavirus. He says LSU is now charging his child and other students a fee.
“It was a $4,000 per semester lease [beginning of semester], so that left about $2,000 [mid-semester], and maybe a little bit less than $2,000 on the lease. And his refund, and the way they [LSU Res Life] worked it out, it’s going to be about $800. So it’s roughly $1,100 to $1,200 that they penalized him with this penalty,” said the dad of the freshman honors student.
LSU Residential Life first told parents on Facebook that there would be no fees for students moving out due to the coronavirus.
In the above screenshot from Facebook, it reads, “No cancellation fees will apply if students elect to leave early.”
Then, someone from the department backtracked on Facebook saying something else.
“Instead of refunding them [students] half of the semester, he’s taken a 75% penalty now, and they’re only going to refund them a small portion of what they paid,” said the dad. “They’re giving us back $800 of the $4,000.”
“It was great that we had the wonderful football season leading up to this for his last year. Now we’re going out on a down note,” said Timothy and Dian Beary from Prairieville.
The Bearys tell WAFB they were basically forced to move their son out of his dorm Thursday afternoon (March 26); he’s a senior at LSU.
He has lived in that dorm for 4 four years.
“We probably won’t get much of a refund. I don’t expect any,” said the Dian.
WAFB tried to speak with someone from LSU about what parents are calling a ridiculous situation.
All an LSU spokesperson would echo is that, “there’s no blanket refund amount since room rate, rent paid, the date of checkout, and more go into factoring the credit amount.”
Keep in mind, LSU strongly advised the students they needed to move out.
“It’s absurd. That’s the right word. He [our son] cannot stay. These are all circumstances beyond the control of the students. It’s not like they’re doing this voluntarily, so you should surely waive any fees associated with moving out early,” said Timothy.
It does appear the money will be transferred over as a credit to the student’s account for next semester.
INFO FROM LSU
Housing credits are being determined based on the housing contract and Louisiana law. There’s no blanket refund amount since room rate, rent paid, date of check out, and more go into factoring the credit amount. Our business team can help you with that information.
Here are some examples to help you see the range (these would be the credit amounts if you were to check out of campus housing on March 18, 2020):
- In a traditional, double occupancy room (Miller and Acadian Halls, for example) = $538 credit
- In a typical residential college = $890 credit
- In a typical 4-bedroom apartment (ECA/WCA) = $748 credit
To receive your credit, check your billing statement in myLSU seven (7) business days after you check out to see your credit. Note that this credit will first be applied to any balance you currently owe the university. View your current balance on your Billing Statement in the Financial Services section of your myLSU page.
Any credit remaining after that balance has been paid will be dispersed once you make the request. E-mail the Bursar’s Office to request any remaining balance be dispersed to you. Make sure you are registered for direct deposit and have an accurate mailing address on file in myLSU to receive funds in a timely manner.
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