Financial Policies

January 12, 2021

Financial Adjustment Regarding Spring 2021 Phased Move-in for Students:

As a result of the Phased move in for Resident Students, those whose move in date is during week 2, 3 or 4 of the Spring 2021 semester will be reimbursed as follows:

  • Students moving in during week 2 (week of January 24) will be credited $480.
  • Students moving in during week 3 (week of January 31) will be credited $960.
  • Students moving in during week 4 (week of February 7) will be credited $1440.

For those whose spring balances are paid in full, a check will be mailed to the student, for those students who have a balance on their account, the appropriate amount will be credited to your bill. These adjustments will occur in mid-March. 

The College is making every effort to conduct in-person instruction throughout the Spring Semester and has further increased measures to control infection and enhance the safety of students, and others on campus.  However, while we will hope and work hard for this, we must face the reality that under some extreme circumstances the only prudent course will be to close some or all of the residence halls.

Staff and faculty at the college recognize that the COVID epidemic has created, and continues to create, financial and psychological pressures for students and their families. As always, the College will try hard to accommodate individual’s issues, but may not be able to do so in all cases.

The campus community extends to over a thousand people and the College’s leadership strives to act in ways that are fair to all and are for the benefit of the community. In many instances, this requires compromise. Last semester, decisions to implement study in place, or to close residence halls, were made during outbreaks; times when we were in regular communication and consultation with Maine CDC. It is likely that the same will be true if we face these decisions again this spring.

Avoiding the introduction of COVID to campus and taking every measure to prevent its transmission, should it be present, remains our best defense against the virus.  We continue to remind the campus community to be diligent in wearing masks, handwashing, and maintaining responsible social distancing, both on and off campus.

Rebates for students who move out of residence halls, closure mandated by SJC:

The College, at its discretion, may decide that it is in the best interest of the health and safety of its students and other community members to restrict access to, or close, residence halls or other parts of campus.

If the College closes the residence halls, its reimbursement process will be similar to last years’. A portion of the semester’s room and board fee will be reimbursed, as an account credit for returning students, or as a cash rebate for others.

  • The reimbursement will be calculated using the official move-out/move-in dates published by the College, and a pro-rated amount of the Room and Board charge (after adjusting for any grant or scholarship related to housing, or the phased move-in for this semester).
  • A fixed amount will then be subtracted to cover some of the expenses that are incurred by the College regardless of the duration of a student’s residence on campus, including services that remain in place after move-out (such as health & wellness, and campus life/engagement). For the Spring 2021 Semester the assessment is $1,090.
  • The remaining amount will be reimbursed as an account credit for returning students and those with account balances, or as a cash rebate for others who will be graduating.

By way of example:

  1. If the halls are closed half-way through the semester, the reimbursement would be 50% of the $7,250 semester room and board fee (which equals $3,625) minus $1,090 assessment which comes out to a reimbursement of $2,535.
  2. If the same student in 1) had, for the semester, also received $1500 in housing scholarship and a late move-in reimbursement of $480 (credited to their account) these would be deducted from the $2,535 and the student would receive a reimbursement of $555.
  3. If the halls closed with 14 days of a 15-week semester remaining (13.33%) the prorated amount would be $967.  As this is less than $1,090, the assessment would be reduced to $967.  No rebate would be made to the student.

A similar approach will be adopted if SJC closes residence halls because of a Federal or State Government mandate.

Students who are sent home for disciplinary reasons

In keeping with SJC’s customary practice, students who are asked to leave campus as a result of a student conduct outcome, including as a result of COVID-related infractions, will not receive room and board rebates.

Students who elect to leave residences while residence halls are open 

The College’s published policy on room and board reimbursements will apply to students who independently elect to leave the college residences. After two weeks of a semester there is no refund for a student’s room and board.

Exceptions or Special Accommodations 

The College will continue its practice of making accommodations in exceptional cases, although this occurs infrequently.  Questions about exceptions should be directed to Student Financial Services.

Other Policies and Deadlines

Policies and deadlines regarding class enrollment and tuition payments remain as published.

Changing circumstances

As with many aspects of our lives during COVID, these policies may be subject to change, in which case a written communication will be shared with the members of the campus community who will be impacted.

Q: Is there funding available for SJC students though the CARES Act?

A: A portion of the HEERF funds will also be distributed to returning, eligible students who apply and have additional documented expenses as a result of the campus disruption from the pandemic. The applications will be reviewed by a small task force meeting weekly in an effort to ensure that the request for assistance meets the criteria set forth by the Department and Congress for the HEERF grants.

Q: Is Tuition being adjusted, since we have transitioned to online learning?

A: We will not be refunding tuition. Our faculty have transitioned from providing quality campus learning to quality distance learning, and our students remain on track to successfully complete their semester – and in the case of seniors, earn their degrees.

Q: Is Room and Board being adjusted?

A: Yes,  Saint Joseph’s College (SJC) will be making an $1800 rebate adjustment to our room and board charges based on our residence hall closures due to the COVID-19 epidemic response.

Q: How was the amount of the adjustment calculated?

A: Although SJC’s policy prohibits Room and Board refunds after the third week of classes, we recognize that the current pandemic is a unique and unforeseen situation that calls for flexibility and a need to work outside established policy. In keeping with our Mercy tradition and core values, we determined an amount deemed equitable and as generous as possible for students and families, while also balancing the fixed costs associated with maintaining our residence halls and student support.

Q: Will the credit toward next year’s bill affect my eligibility for aid?

A: No. The adjustment for the Spring 2020 semester’s room and board will not impact your financial aid eligibility for the 2020-21 academic year.  As always, your financial aid offer for 2020-21 will be based on the information that we receive from your FAFSA.

Q: What if I currently  have an outstanding balance with the College?

A: The room and board adjustment will be applied to any current charges on your account. Please note that charges relating to any residence hall damages will be applied to students’ accounts later this spring.

Q: When will I receive my refund?

A: The credit adjustment will be posted on student accounts by mid-April.  All students may view their accounts via their campus Café student portal, under “My Info” and “Billing Statement”.

Q: How will my TMS/Nelnet Payment Plan be impacted?

A: For families using the Payment Plan, once the credit adjustment is posted on the student’s account, Student Financial Services staff members will communicate with each family to resolve their student balance and TMS/Nelnet accounts.

Q: Will Commuter Students receive an adjustment to their charges?

A: Only those commuter students with the Commuter Meal Plan who have unused meal plan dollars will receive a refund of the unused portion of the meal plan dollars they paid for.  This will be posted to their student account, and if a credit results, a check will be processed and disbursed to the student. Credits of less than $25 for returning students will remain on the account.