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University update on fees for spring semester

From: University Relations

Guided by public health experts and mandates from the governor’s office, and in response to the ongoing pandemic, Virginia Tech transitioned to online delivery of spring semester courses and moved to “essential operations” status with a vastly reduced on-campus workforce and student population.

As in-person operations were reduced and online interactions were enhanced, university leaders have made numerous incremental decisions to help students continue uninterrupted toward degree completion and protect the health of our campus communities.

In the course of these transitions, the university has continued evaluating each aspect of its operations, including finances. Some solutions have been offered for discontinued or delayed services, such as parking permit refunds, housing rebates, and dining plan rollovers. In its review of spring semester tuition and the mandatory fees, the university has determined that tuition and mandatory fees will not be refunded.

The university is investing significant effort and technology to provide virtual instruction to ensure students can continue their coursework and earn academic credit. Virginia Tech also continues to provide essential academic and support services to ensure continuity of our educational programs and university services. Continuity of university operations is dependent upon tuition and mandatory fees.

As described on the university’s description of fees posted on the Bursar’s Office website, mandatory fees (all of the “educational and general fees” and all of the “comprehensive fees,” as shown on the Bursar’s Office website) are nonrefundable. As with tuition, mandatory fees are approved by the Board of Visitors to cover the estimated cost of delivering a bundled set of services. These bundled services are designed as part of the total cost of attendance, without regard to individual usage of each service, to create the maximum community benefit at the lowest cost. This is a different model than a service provided via user fee (such as in dining, where there is a more direct relationship between utilization of a service and the price of that specific service). While some services that are bundled in the mandatory fees have been curtailed, others have been enhanced and extended online as a result of the pandemic to meet the needs of students. Further, the university is continuing to work to improve virtual services for students during the pandemic.

The pandemic has created stress and uncertainty. Virginia Tech is deeply concerned for our students’ well-being, and has been working to enhance and expand student support. Students facing economic hardship may contact the Dean of Students Office, which is available to hear needs and connect students with assistance opportunities. More information is available at https://dos.vt.edu/emergencyfund.html