ST. LOUIS ( -- The coronavirus pandemic is impacting millions economically, from the unemployed to those who were hoping their degree would get them that first job.

College students, already low on income and taking on debt, are now facing an uncertain future. In an effort to help ease the financial burden on their students, Maryville University leaders are giving some refunds and reimbursements.

"Everybody gets different financial aid packages, levels of support, athletic aid of academic and athletic aid,” said Dr. Mark Lombardi, president of the university.

Lombardi said the university will refund the cost of housing and meals for students who were forced to leave the campus when the outbreak of COVID-19 shuttered the campus.

"I think all of the asks and all of the requests are legitimate and reasonable, so no problems there,” he said.

He expects to return nearly $2 million to students and to see no problem for the school's bottom line once he has.

"We're in really strong financial shape,” Lombardi said. “We've been growing rapidly in the last 10 years and have over 10,000 students on a variety of platforms."

Halfway across the state, residential students at the University of Missouri in Columbia can also get a portion of their lodging and meal costs back, or have accounts credited for next year.

However at this point, the school is unable to estimate what the cost will be to the university system.

"We are telling folks anything over a particular amount, we need to get approval and re-asses that. We are telling people to hold off on offering new positions at the moment," said spokesperson Christian Basi. "This is not anyone's fault. This is a very frustrating situation for everyone. We understand."

Both schools aren't giving refunds or reimbursements for tuition because courses are continuing online.

To see how you or your child's university is handling other refunds and deferrals, call or email the school.

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved


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