Housing cancellation policies cause confusion among students

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University of Connecticut Residential Life is charging students a full semester’s worth of housing even after the student cancels housing for that semester.  Photo by Eric Wang / The Daily Campus.

University of Connecticut Residential Life is charging students a full semester’s worth of housing even after the student cancels housing for that semester. Photo by Eric Wang / The Daily Campus.

Controversy has risen among University of Connecticut students over Residential Life’s policy of charging students a semester’s worth of housing costs, even after they cancel housing for that semester. 

Article 8.6.3 of UConn’s On-Campus Housing Contract states that the university can charge both continuing and newly-admitted students 100% of their spring housing rate if they cancel their housing after Sept. 30. Moreover, current residents who canceled their housing after Sept. 30 for spring 2020 would also be charged 100% of the rate. 

Amy Crim, associate director of Housing Services, said the policy is not out of the ordinary. 

“We have benchmarked other comparable institutions and found that this is a common practice,” Crim said. 

However, a student can be released from their contract with no additional fee if they are able to meet certain criteria and cancel before set deadlines.  

“If a student leaves the University—due to graduation, medical leave, or to participate in a study abroad opportunity—they are released from their contract and do not need to pay for the entire year,” Dr. Pamela Schipani, executive director of Residential Life, said. 

Likewise, transferring, withdrawing, reporting for military service or returning to one’s home country are not followed by fees. Those participating in an off-campus university-sponsored program, however, would have to cancel by Jan. 15 of that year. Students who cancel after Jan. 15 would be charged a $500 cancellation fee, as stated in the contract. 

Furthermore, students who have signed an off-campus lease are responsible for paying the rent for the duration of the lease’s terms, regardless of whether they stay or leave. Moreover, graduate students who accept on-campus housing are financially responsible for room, board and fees for the entire academic year, or the portion that remains at the time of cancellation, according to housing regulations. 

Finally, residents who are released or choose to cancel their housing contracts are not entitled to refunds or on-campus housing in the future. Those who retain enrollment yet move out of an on-campus assignment without approval from Residential Life are liable to all room and dining fees remaining on their student fee bill, Article 8.7.4 of the contract says. 

Crim emphasized that these regulations will continue to be implemented for the time being. 

“At this time, this practice is not being changed,” Crim said. 


Sebastian Garay-Ortega is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached at sebastian.garay-ortega@uconn.edu. He tweets @sebastian__305.

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