Chancellor Victor Boschini participated in a Zoom town hall meeting Tuesday to answer some questions about which students are concerned.
“This is great doing this,” Boschini said. “It’s so great to see real people again.”
The question on every student’s and parent’s mind right now is what is happening with their unused housing and food plans right now, since the semester was cut short. This is a big part of TCU’s overall tuition for 4,922 underclassmen, totaling around $14,000 per year.
“Anybody who is an underclassmen [will] get the unused portion, which is a pretty big chunk, of your room and board,” Boschini said. “They are supposed to be doing that as we speak. Most underclassmen have asked us to just roll it forward into the fall as a credit, so they don’t have to pay it later.”
The economy is suffering as a result of the coronavirus. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current unemployment rate is now at 4.4%, a 0.9 percentage point increase from last month. There is a large increase in jobless claims over the past week, with 6.6 million people applying for unemployment.
However, TCU understands that this is a tough time and is putting more into financial aid.
“If anyone owes us money, they are going to be really lenient, just like most companies,” Boschini said. “They realize that lots of people are in a bad situation, and if someone does have a problem, tell them to give me a call immediately.”
Part of the tradition for new TCU students is to attend Frog Camp and Orientation over the summer before their first year. However, since the COVID-19 outbreak, the decision has put that tradition in limbo.
“The honest answer is they haven’t decided definitively on all of it yet,” Boschini said.
He said the provost and vice chancellor are working on a way for every student to be contacted by their adviser so they can pick classes and form a schedule for the upcoming year.
However, COVID-19 is not just potentially affecting TCU opening; it’s also affecting colleges and universities all across the nation.
“We’re planning to have on-campus classes starting in August, like we normally do,” Boschini said. “We are planning both ways. I’m pretty confident from what I see from the CDC and what I see from the Texas curve.”
Sadly, the chancellor and chief financial officer said through May 30 that the school could be losing anywhere from $39 million to $50 million.
“The board is preparing for the worst but hoping for the best,” Boschini said.
COVID-19 not only affects the academic side of things, but it’s also affecting Horned Frog athletics.
“We’re losing money every day because there are no sporting events,” Boschini said. “My big worry is [will] there be football in the fall.”
The chancellor said that since Sodexo planned ahead in the school year, there is enough food to feed the employees for a while.
“We started giving everybody on campus free lunch,” Boschini said. “Last time I checked, they had about 11 days worth of food left.”
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