A Message from President Minnis on Room and Board Credits - April 7 | Benedictine College

A Message from President Minnis on Room and Board Credits

Sent to Benedictine College students and student parents on April 7, 2020.

Dear Raven Community –

I hope you are doing well and staying healthy. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of disruptions in our lives and for some, it has caused financial hardships. Recognizing that, we have been working diligently to find a way to deliver a credit based on each student’s situation regarding room and board charges.

Thank you for allowing the “dust to settle” and giving us the chance to sort through this rather complex issue. This is a significant financial decision for the college, so we had to be sure we could deliver on our promise. To put this in context, we have already made bond payments on the residence halls, paid our food service contract, and paid our residence life staff. So fixed costs are just that, fixed. The refund is a $3.4 million additional cost that has put a tremendous strain on the college. The government’s stimulus package will provide some relief and we are negotiating with our food service provider, ARAMARK, and hope to gain some savings there. We are also working on other options to recoup funds, for example, insurance and interim relief on debt payments.

I want to assure you that, as we work through our financing options, we are committed to being fair. We intend to provide a full credit for the unused portion of each student’s room and board, and we are working on getting that credit to students’ accounts as soon as possible. The credit for both room and board will be prorated based on the percentage of the spring semester that the student was able to be on campus. It will also include any unused Dining Dollars. Because we must figure each student’s credit individually, due to all the possible variations, this is taking a little time. What you can expect within a week is an email from the college’s Business Office, sent to students, discussing the credit in greater detail and next steps.

As we start to issue credits, we will first apply funds to unpaid balances for this year. We will then credit each student’s account for next year. Families who prefer a check to a credit may request that; the process will be outlined in the upcoming Business Office communication to students. For graduating seniors, we will issue a check. We have also already heard from some families who wish to donate all or part of the funds to Benedictine. That is deeply appreciated, and we will develop a means to acknowledge your donation.

I am grateful for everyone’s patience and I am glad we can now start to make concrete plans for the future. We will get credits processed as soon as possible, and I look forward to celebrating with our seniors and their families at our delayed Commencement on July 25, 2020.

Forward. Always Forward.
Ravens Will Rise!

Stephen D. Minnis
President – Benedictine College