Credit adjustments for housing, dining and parking

Dear student,

We miss you and the buzz of activity you bring to our beautiful campus. I hope you and your family are staying healthy and your studies are going well during this time. The resilience and flexibility you are showing during the COVID-19 pandemic reflect the strength and character of our student body. Thank you for your patience as we worked through a plan to resolve student expenses for the remainder of the spring semester.

SMU will offer credit adjustments for housing, dining and parking expenses in light of this extraordinary situation. The adjustments will vary by student, as charges are dependent upon individual room and board plans, financial aid packages, dining options and other variables. The credit applied to these expenses must take into consideration costs that the University incurs regardless of occupancy, such as year-round staff, utilities, building operations and maintenance. As a result, the credit will range from about 36% to 37.5% of the total semester’s charges for housing, meal plans and student parking.

All parking expenses will be calculated at the same rate regardless of whether a vehicle remained on campus beyond March 23 when all spring classes shifted online. However, students must arrange to move their vehicles from campus before May 18. For dining, the unused balance of any additional flex funds purchased during the spring semester will be included in the credit adjustments.

Credit Applied to Outstanding Balances

It’s important to understand that all credit adjustments will be applied first to outstanding balances on student accounts, including registration for May, summer or fall terms if already registered. For graduating seniors with no outstanding balances on student accounts, any credit balance will be automatically refunded.

As academic instruction is continuing, instructional costs such as tuition, lab or technology fees will not be credited to the student account. SMU’s online courses still reflect the same academic rigor and objectives as when they are delivered on campus. The effort and resources required are equivalent – and in some cases greater – than when the coursework is delivered in person. Other services covered by general student fees also remain available, including SMU libraries, and both telemedicine and in-person appointments at the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center.

Given the number of students and the complexity of these plans, packages and options, please allow time for accounts to be individually reviewed to make sure they are accurate and reflect your financial situation. The Office of the University Bursar expects to post individual credit amounts by Tuesday, April 21. Any credit balance that remains after all unpaid charges are satisfied may be refunded based on federal, state and University guidelines. All refunds should be processed by May 15.

This is a difficult time, and we understand that financial issues are sensitive and deeply personal. With that in mind, this outcome was a collaboration between the staff and leadership of Student Affairs and Business and Finance to arrive at the credit adjustments in a fair and equitable manner. For those who may be struggling to cover unexpected costs in these unforeseen circumstances, we have an SMU Student Emergency Fund. Students may complete a Caring Community Connections (CCC) form and check “Economic Hardship” to apply for assistance.

For more information about the credit adjustments, please see the Bursar’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or contact SMU’s Enrollment Services at 214-768-3417. We look forward to the time when we can once again welcome you and your fellow Mustangs back to campus.

University Bursar