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Coronavirus In Ohio: Colleges Consider Refunds For Students Kicked Off Campus

The Ohio State University

At the top of the list for colleges and universities nationwide is keeping students safe and healthy in the midst of the coronavirus, but many parents are wondering if having their kids sent home will mean a refund for room and board.

Some Ohio colleges and universities are already moving to give students their money back.

The Ohio State University, which has postponed spring commencement, told students who live in residential halls that it will provide a prorated refund for housing and dining costs for students who leave by March 22.

Miami University told students as long as they were gone by March 27, they would be issued "an appropriate" room and board refund, according to The Journal News.

It's unclear if Xavier University will issue room and board refunds, based on information posted online.

At the University of Cincinnati, some students are circulating a petitionto get a partial refund.

The Columbus Dispatch reportsmost colleges and universities have not made any decisions. The University of Akron told students if they don't stay on campus for online classes, they will not be given refunds for time not spend in residence halls.

"Many of the costs ... are sunk costs; we can't get them back," Sharon Johnson, vice president of student affairs at the University of Akron told the paper. "There will be some discussion about what the ramifications are for students and universities."

The Dispatch reports Denison University is "developing information" about possible refunds but didn't have information to share by March 11.

The Ohio Department of Health makes the following recommendations to protect yourself from illness:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; dry hands with a clean towel or air dry hands. 
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable. 
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

Ohio's coronavirus call center is open to answer questions from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The hotline number is 1-833-4-ASK-ODH or 1-833-427-5634.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.