FARMINGTON — The University of Maine System has issued a statement in response to a rumor circulating on social media that is wrongly reporting that UMaine students will not be reimbursed for room and board, even though the system has asked them not to return to campuses following spring break.

Dan Demeritt, executive director of public affairs for the UMaine System, said in a statement that students and their families “will not be financially disadvantaged by the University’s move to online classes and residence hall restrictions in response to the Coronavirus public health crisis.”

According to Demeritt, “students will be able to complete the course of study they have paid for this semester and room and board charges paid through family contributions will be refunded on an appropriate and prorated basis.”

Demeritt said everything is being reviewed to see what is eligible for reimbursement, what should be prorated what should not.

There are 5,800 resident students enrolled in the system.

Details of the reimbursement process will be available on the the system’s public health advisory website by noon Wednesday, March 18.

“The University is working quickly and responsively to address individual student and family concerns as we take unprecedented steps as a public institution to protect student health and help limit the spread of the Coronavirus in Maine,” Demeritt said.

University of Maine at Farmington President Edward Serna acknowledged the confusion over refunds in a statement Thursday, saying, “We apologize for any confusion or frustration caused by references to standing policies on withdrawals and refunds in yesterday’s email.”

“Our faculty and staff are all committed to the success of our students, and we are working very hard now and through the spring break to make sure every student can continue with their course of study and earn the credits they have paid for. It will not be the end we envisioned for this academic year, but we can still pursue knowledge and academic success despite the steps we are having to take in the interest of public health and student safety,” he said in the statement.

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