The Coronavirus pandemic resulted in a move to "online" delivery of all course content and a premature end to the delivery of some student services for the spring 2020 semester. A methodology to determine a reduction in billed charges was created and submitted to SUNY. Approval to proceed with our plan was received on May 13 and the university began posting reduced charges to accounts on May 14.

Refund entries posted the next day and checks (or direct deposit entries) were printed on May 16. The refund checks were mailed on May 18 (and direct deposit entries were also sent to banks on May 18). 

Some details of the plan can reviewed below.  

If you wish, refund checks can be used to reduce loan balances for the spring semester. If you would like to do so, please return the check to our office with a note detailing your wishes.

Charges Eligible for Refund

Charges for on-campus rooms, meal plans, activity fee, athletic fee, student life center fee, the transportation fee and certain course fees were eligible for reductions.  

Charges for tuition were not reduced as the College continued to deliver credit for coursework via distance learning and remote instruction.

Additionally, we did not refund the technology fee as we relied heavily on our technology resources to provide distance learning. The transcript fee was not reduced as students will still be eligible for "free" lifetime transcript service.

The health fee was not reduced. The services provided by the health fee include the University Counseling Center and its phone counseling services. These services are still being provided.

Refund Percentage

SUNY provided guidance and instructed schools the earliest date that should be used when calculating refunds was March 19. We reviewed the dates students were allowed to live on campus and March 19 was the exact mid-point of the semester. As a result, all charges eligible for reduction were reduced by 50%, other than the activity fee which was reduced by 43%.

Refund percentages for eligible fees
Eligible FeeRefund
Room 50%
Meal Plan Up to 50%. See Meal Plan Reduction Details
Activity 43% The Activity Fee is governed by the Student Government Association (SGA). They established 43% based upon year to date revenue and expenditures
Athletic 50%
Student Life Center 50%
Transportation 50%
Course Fees Varies. Some course fees were not refunded or only partially refunded based on the utilization of the course materials.
Parking See Parking Details


Students must have been an "active" student as of March 19, 2020 to be eligible for any reductions. Students who withdrew from the college prior to March 19 are not eligible for a reduction even if they incurred charges from eligible fees during the spring 2020 semester. These students were deemed to not have been impacted by the conversion to online learning since they had already withdrawn from the college.  

Housing Reduction Details

Students who were living on campus as of March 13 were eligible for a refund of on-campus housing expenses. Those students who had multiple room types during the semester were refunded for the highest rate they incurred.

Students who were still tripled as of March 19 also received a refund for the time they were tripled (the first 50% of the semester).

Students who were approved to stay in on-campus housing after March 19 were not refunded, unless they notified Residence Life and Housing of their desire to change their mind on or before April 2.    

The university will not be providing any refunds for housing charges for students living off campus. These students should contact their landlords directly for any refund discussion.

Meal Plan Reduction Details

Cortland Auxiliary Services (ASC) calculated the two types of meal plan refunds.

The refunds for on campus and off campus meal plans (Olympic Collegiate, and Recreational) were calculated as follows: Base meal plan (actual plan price less dining dollars provided in that plan) x 50%, plus unused dining dollars less guest meals utilized.

Unused Dragon Dollar meal plans were refunded because these do not "roll forward" to future semesters.  

The Dragon plans (Dining dollars only) were calculated as follows: actual dining dollar balance less bonus dining dollars. For all students who enroll in the fall 2020 semester, any account balance on the Dragon plans will roll forward.

Pease contact ASC at for more details.


Students will be refunded on a prorated basis for the purchase of a parking permit. Due to the nature of the process for collecting these fees, processing refunds is taking longer than our other refunds.

 Permits costs can be a combination of two fees: a Registration fee, and a Parking fee.  The Registration fee is $15 per semester, and is the minimum cost for any permit.  The remainder of the permit cost is the Parking fee.

 Registration fees are non-refundable.  One-half of the parking fee for the Spring 2020 semester will be refunded.  All students who had an active permit as of March 16th, 2020, and did not stay/return to on-campus residential status will receive the pro-rated refund as described above.  The anticipated completion of this process is June 1st, 2020.

Full year            Registration fee = $30

One semester   Registration fee = $15

Year permits:

Full time/”C” permit –  ($130 - $30 Registration fee) / 4 = $25

Full time/”D” permit – ($60 - $30 Registration fee) / 4 = $7.50

 Semester permits:

Full time/”C” permit –  ($65 - $15 Registration fee) / 2 = $25

Full time/”D” permit – ($30 - $15 Registration fee) / 2 = $7.50

Prior Balances

Students with account balances for the current academic year (Summer 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, and Spring 2020) will see their refund offset by any outstanding amounts due for those semesters. 

Other Reductions

Fees for Student Life Center memberships and classes have already been refunded. Please contact the Student Life Center for any questions on these refunds.