The University of Maryland, Baltimore County expects to lose around $23.2 million, which makes up nearly 5 percent of the university’s budget, due to the financial repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Student refunds for room and board and mandatory fees totaled $18.3 million out of that $23.2 million.
The refunds were released on April 28 and were taken from different auxiliary enterprises, which are non-academic provisions including parking, The Commons and Residential Life.
The “vast majority” of funds were pulled from the auxiliary reserves, said Lynne Schaefer, the Vice President for Finance and Administration.
“We’ve tapped those reserves and that is going to prevent us from doing those facilities renewal projects, from implementing programs … as we attempt to build up reasonable reserves,” Schaefer said. The rest of the needed funding will be pulled from departmental resources.
Students received refunds on a pro-rated basis for room and board and athletic fees, according to guidance from the University System of Maryland Board of Regents on March 19. UMBC additionally issued pro-rated refunds for University Commons fees, auxiliary facilities fees, parking and transportation fees and 50 percent of the undergraduate student activities fee and the graduate program fee.
The additional revenue losses — $3.7 million — according to Schaefer, were caused in part by the closing of the UMBC Bookstore, summer camp cancellations and intercollegiate athletics and NCAA cancellations. Increased expenses came to $1.2 million.
UMBC is currently awaiting Maryland’s state budgetary cuts and guidance from the Board of Regents and the University System of Maryland, which will determine future steps. In the meantime, Schaefer stated that UMBC plans to “do everything [they] can” to support current employees.
UMBC received $9.3 million from the Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students from the federal government via the CARES Act. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education determined that universities could only utilize half of the allotted grant for university-related expenses.
While at least half of this funding will go to support students, it will be issued only to students who are eligible for Title IV financial aid, which excludes international and undocumented students, as per recent DOE guidance. The remainder of the funds will be used to mitigate revenue losses.