Refunds for college students during the coronavirus pandemic

Mariah Arviso, Reporter

The Chancellor of California Community colleges, Eloy Ortiz Oakley, signed an executive order (2020-21), on March 20, that allows students attending any community college in California to withdraw from classes with an excused withdraw on their transcripts, as well as receive refunds for any classes dropped.  

This order was put into place to ensure the safety and well-being of all students. COVID-19 has caused all schools to close down and transfer all courses online. Although this was necessary, some students expressed not having the technology needed to continue schooling from home.  

“I think it is good that [the Chancellor] did this because it means that they are at least thinking about the students that may need to withdraw because of personal reasons or lack of resources,” Bakersfield College student, Gustavo Lopez said. 

With this order, any students who drop out of classes due to not having the resources to continue schooling with be exempt from any academic penalties. COVID-19 has put a stop to all in-person schooling, so the Chancellor wanted to guarantee that it would not affect the academic standings of students. Executive order 2020-21, was made possible because in times of state emergencies the Chancellor of community colleges is allowed to make any decisions regarding the students’ academics.  

According to executive order 2020-21, “The requirement that a district must request a waiver I writing is suspended. Accordingly, districts may grant refunds of enrollment fees pursuant to subdivision (a) without additional documentation provided to the Chancellor’s office.”  

Students that withdraw will be provided refunds for enrollment fees as well as parking fees as a result to COVID-19 school closures. It has not been decided whether students will receive refunds for student health fees. This order will be in effect until the state of national emergency has been lifted.