Spring 2021 Guide and COVID-19 information

Billing and refund policy

SUNY Cortland has developed rationale for program fees and charges, a waiver policy and plans for refunds if the university needs to return to remote learning before the end of the Spring 2021 semester.

Some general things to know

  • This policy covers SUNY Cortland’s Spring 2021 on-campus student experience, which starts on Thursday, Jan. 28, when first-year students start to arrive, and will end Saturday, May 15. All SUNY Cortland fees cover the costs associated with this time period. Any refunds will be based on the length of this campus-based experience.
  • Each program service charge includes fixed costs such as personnel services, facility maintenance and software and equipment service contracts. Expenses outside of these costs — for services and opportunities that cannot be provided when all students leave campus — will be refundable on a prorated basis if the pandemic forces SUNY Cortland to fully return to distance education.
  • Our refund policies are standard across the SUNY system based on information we provided to them. All student charges are regulated by the State University of New York Board of Trustees, which may limit our ability to make some adjustments.
  • Reducing student density on campus does not necessarily result in an ability to reduce services and lower costs. For example, although fewer students will be riding campus buses at any one time, the need to reduce the number of passengers on each bus means the university cannot reduce the number of buses in use. 

Waiver policy

 In certain cases, students may have the ability to petition the university to waive some program fees. Students who may be eligible for a fee waiver include:

  • Students engaged in student teaching or internship assignment with field placements outside the Cortland area.
  • Students with a fully online schedule who do not have a local address.

All waiver requests, except for those due to a positive test for COVID-19, must be made to the Student Accounts Office and be received by March 1, 2021. Students can do this online through the Student tab of myRedDragon.

Service and program fees

For descriptions of what individual service and program fees cover, please refer to the College Fees webpage. Reduction, refund and waiver policies for individual fees and charges are below.


Tuition for all SUNY four-year institutions is set by the New York State Legislature and cannot be changed by any campus independently. Regardless of how course material is delivered, the ultimate value of an academic semester at SUNY Cortland is unchanged in terms of content and credit earned.

Housing and meal plan changes

The costs associated with on-campus student housing and meal plans cover personnel services, student support and educational programming, nutritional support, food and beverages, facility maintenance and service contracts. Services that cannot be provided remotely will be refunded fully for each day those services are not used should students be required to leave campus due to COVID-19. Any refund of on-campus student housing and meal plan charges will be based on the on-campus student experience spanning Jan. 28 to May 15, 2021.

Athletics Fee

SUNY Cortland will reduce the university’s intercollegiate athletics fee by 60% for the spring semester. Some intercollegiate team competitions are planned for the spring and the athletics fee will continue to provide students with small group trainings, experiential learning opportunities, leadership development opportunities, community service initiatives, memberships and educational programming. Services will continue in a virtual environment.

Student Health Fee

Student Health Service and the Counseling Center will continue to offer virtual services to students during the Spring 2021 term if students are required to leave campus due to COVID-19.

Student Life Center Fee

All indications are that New York state will allow the Student Life Center to open this spring. Even so, the fee has been reduced 25% for the spring. Should the center not open before March 1, an additional 25% reduction will be applicable. Should the campus move to remote course delivery, a pro-rated amount will be fully refunded.

Technology Fee

This fee will not be reimbursed. It funds a variety of technology networking and access services for students, including email accounts, internet and technical support, all of which will become even more critical should SUNY Cortland move to remote operation.

Transportation Fee

This fee covers the cost of campus transportation. Should the campus move to remote course delivery, a pro-rated amount will be fully refunded.

College Fee, Transcript Fee, New Student Fee

None of these fees will be reimbursed. The services associated with these fees can be offered in either an on-campus setting or in a remote education plan.

Student Activity Fee

The Student Government Association at SUNY Cortland sets this fee and is responsible for approving the budgets, operations and maintenance of these funds. All final decisions associated with a Student Activity Fee refund would be based on action of the Student Government Association.

Parking Fee

A pro-rated amount of this fee will be fully refunded should the campus be forced to move to a remote education model.

Course Fees

For courses that include an additional fee, all charges will be reviewed individually.