March 16, 2020

Dear Mercyhurst University students and families,

During these uncertain and rapidly changing times, we appreciate your understanding and patience as we work to ensure the safety and well-being of the entire Mercyhurst community.

Effective Friday, March 20, at 8 p.m., all university residence halls will close. All students living on campus, including those who’ve already left, are asked to complete the On-Campus Resident Intentions Form.

For students currently on campus:

  • Pack belongings and moving out of campus residences by Friday.
  • Check-out stations are in Ryan Hall, Warde Hall, Baldwin Hall, and McAuley Hall to collect students’ room keys. For North East students, key drop-off locations include outside the Student Life Office, Redemptorist Hall, the North East Townhouse recreation room, and Neumann Hall.
  • As availability permits, Residence Life staff members will be on hand to answer questions and provide information as needed.

For students who have already returned home:

  • If possible, please plan on returning to campus to pack up all your belongings and fully move out of your campus residence by March 20.
  • If you are unable to return to pack up your belongings by March 20 due to travel or other restrictions, please email to make alternate arrangements.
  • If you have already left campus and are experiencing symptoms, or are currently self-quarantining, please do not return to campus. Please email and we will assist you in making alternate arrangements to have someone pack up your belongings.

For students requesting a short-term deadline extension:

  • If additional time is needed to make arrangements to leave campus, please request a short-term extension when completing the On-Campus Resident Intentions Form. Short-term extensions will not be granted beyond 5 p.m. on March 22.
  • We will evaluate all requests to remain on campus and contact students by Wednesday morning with additional steps.

For students requesting a long-term deadline extension:

  • We recognize that some students may be unable to safely return to their permanent residences due to travel restrictions or other extenuating circumstances. If you need to remain on campus beyond March 22, please request a long-term extension when completing On-Campus Resident Intentions Form.
  • We will evaluate all requests to remain on campus and contact students by Wednesday morning with additional steps.

For students who are granted permission to remain in campus residences after March 22, additional safety precautions and procedures will be in place:

  • Students remaining on campus will likely be required to relocate to another campus residence to allow for the creation of potential quarantine locations.
  • No off-campus visitors or overnight guests will be permitted in residences.
  • Limited university dining services will be available.
  • The Cohen Student Health Center will be limited to emergency situations only.
  • The REC Center will not be available.
  • Access to the campus mail room will be limited.
  • All on-campus events and in-person student life programming are canceled.
  • Other campus facilities, including the library and computer labs, may be closed or available on a limited basis.

 Limited on-campus storage may be available. To request on-campus storage, please email Other off-campus storage opportunities may be available.

More detailed information, including answers to frequently asked questions, will be available later today.

We understand how difficult and disruptive the COVID-19 crisis has been for you, your families, and the Mercyhurst community, and we thank you for your continued patience and compassion during this time.


Laura Zirkle, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Life

Refund Information

Will housing or meal plans charges be refunded or credited to a future semester?

Yes. Current freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors not approved to graduate in May will receive a prorated credit for housing and/or meal plan charges for use in a future semester. Graduate students and students who applied and were approved to graduate as of March 15, 2020, will be issued a prorated refund.  In order to be eligible for a credit or refund, students must complete the Housing Intention Form by March 20 and properly check out of their housing as per the instructions above.

For students who depart housing by Sunday, March 22, housing charges will be credited at 42% of assessed housing charges. Students departing by Sunday, March 29, will be credited at 36% of assessed housing charges. Students in housing past March 30 will not receive a credit or refund. Based on the number of meal service days that have lapsed in the current semester, anytime meal plans will be credited at 41%, less any used bonus bucks.  Students on block meal plans will be credited based on the number of meals used, less any bonus bucks.  As dining dollars do not expire, students on dining dollar-only plans or with dining dollar credit will have that balance roll to future semesters; graduating seniors can request a refund of unused dining dollars.

Residential students will have their Cost of Attendance (a figure used in the calculation of financial aid) adjusted to reflect 80% On-Campus and 20% Live with Parents status.  This may affect some institutional financial aid. Students with grant and scholarship aid, from all sources, that exceeds the costs of tuition and standard fees may have their aid adjusted which may reduce a credit or refund. Students on a full scholarship (including room and board) are ineligible for a credit or refund; the credit will be refunded to the source of the aid. Resident assistants and others receiving financial aid to support housing or meal plan costs will have their financial aid adjusted and are also ineligible for a credit or refund.

Based on information received from Residence Life, Student Financial Services will begin processing credits and refunds in April. Students will receive a summary of credit or refund calculations, updated eBill and, if applicable, financial aid award, after their individual cases have been reviewed. This will take some time. We appreciate your patience during this process.

Why are the proration percentages different?

Housing prorations are based on the number of days between move-in and move-out for the current semester. Dining prorations for students on an anytime plan are based on the number of board-eligible service days in the current semester (e.g., excludes spring break as standard meal service is not available during that period). For residential students, Cost of Attendance calculations are based on the number of instructional days (including final exams) per academic year. Based on the Friday, March 20, ceasing of on-campus operations, 80% of the academic year was spent on-campus, the remaining 20% at home.