Fordham Issues Partial Refunds to Students

50% of room and board fees to be returned to students; no refunds for tuition.



Residents expressed their gratitude after Fordham announced a 50% refund for room and board.


Fordham has announced a partial refund to students due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that forced the university to suspend face-to-face classes. Fordham will reduce “room, board and selected fees by approximately 50% for the spring 2020 semester,” according to an email sent by the Office of Student Financial Services on March 31.

Students will receive partial refunds in the form of direct deposits, which the university has encouraged students to sign up for. All students receiving refunds are expected to be refunded no later than May 16, 2020.

Students received emails from the Office of Student Financial Services on March 30 notifying them that they “may have a credit balance in the near future as a result of adjustments to charges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.”  

The email explained that additional costs of “new technology” spent transitioning to online learning justified only a partial refund. “Our faculty and students together are adjusting to the new environment and doing creative, engaging work in their virtual classrooms. Therefore the University will not refund tuition,” the email stated.

Many students are appreciative of the University for issuing the partial refund for the prematurely ended semester. “I would’ve felt cheated if they didn’t actually give something back, especially considering I would be paying for something I’m not currently taking advantage of,” said Maia Nunez, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’22. 

Kaylin Bridglall, FCLC ’21, expressed thanks to the university for issuing refunds. “I was really scared we would be kicked out of housing and not compensated in any way so I’m really glad about the choice Fordham made.”

JiMin Son, Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center ’22, said he was “disappointed” by the lack of refunds for tuition. “I’m not angry, and I understand that professors need to continue getting paid, but I still think that I should at least get something back for the difference in quality,” Son said.

Some students have been calling for partial or full refunds since the university first moved to online classes and announced the shutdown of all campuses on March 13. Several petitions have circulated on demanding partial or total refunds to students, including tuition. 

Other colleges and universities across the country have issued similar refunds. Loyola University Chicago, another Jesuit university, announced on March 24 that they will be issuing full refunds for housing and meal plan fees.

Columbia University has also promised its residents up to $500 to “help ameliorate and expedite departures” after students were forced to modify travel arrangements and move their belongings out of the residence halls. On March 18, Columbia announced that they would issue prorated refunds to housing and dining. St. John’s University has stated that they “will be issuing refunds for the room cost for the amount of time the University was in a fully online platform.”