WSU drops addendum, will refund freshmen if dorms vacate for COVID-19
Washington State University has changed its mind and revised the 2020-2021 Housing Addendum. Freshmen students will now get a refund for room and board if the school and residence halls are forced to close because of COVID-19.
Last week, the university announced that freshmen would have to pay in advance for housing and dining. They had to sign a waiver, which said they wouldn’t get a refund if WSU went completely online.
Additionally, the university wouldn’t give freshmen their housing assignment without a signed agreement.
Parents launched an online petition, and on Tuesday, WSU announced the change. The university now says that if a public health order requires them to vacate residence halls due to COVID-19, students will be given a refund or credit policy matching the order. If students have already signed the 2020-2021 addendum, there is no need to resubmit as the university will send a revised version.
“I have to give credit to Washington State University,” Attorney Joe Bennett told KIRO Radio. “With some public pressure, they reassessed the situation and they made the right decision. And I think there’s a lot of grateful students and parents because Washington State, upon reflection, did the right thing.”
WSU also expanded the First Year Live-In Requirement exemption criteria to include financial and extraordinary hardship.
The revised fall 2020 class schedule will be available on Aug. 1, 2020, and students have until Aug. 3 to cancel their housing contract without cancellation fees.
Housing and dining plans at WSU will remain open throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, including during and after breaks.
The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.