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UTEP & UT System working to reimburse student expenses due to virus

EL PASO, Texas -- UTEP and the University of Texas System are working together to make sure their students are reimbursed some of their expenses including housing, parking and meal plans.

Last week, ABC-7 reported how UTEP student residents were being asked "to find alternative off-campus living arrangements" as a result of guidelines set by the University of Texas System due to coronavirus concerns.

Many questions were raised regarding how and if students would be reimbursed and if students who do not have the means to leave, can stay. 

UTEP officials told every request by a student resident to stay has been approved.  As of Friday, there are 81 students still on campus, but that number is expected to lower by the end of the week. 

As for reimbursement, it costs between $2,000 and $3,000 to live on campus each semester. UTEP is prorating student’s expenses. 

“So let’s say, for example, a student moves out today, that would be their last day of living on campus, " said Dr. Catie McCorry-Andalis, UTEP Dean of Students. "Then we would prorate the amount that they would have owed based on the day they moved out and their refund is issued to them.” 

In a board of regents meeting Friday, UT System Chancellor James Milliken said UT System is working with each university president to make sure students are reimbursed.

“We’re working with campus presidents on the reimbursement plans for students for those auxiliary, enterprises, housing, dinning and parking for with they have paid," Chancellor Milliken said. “I have been really quite heartened by the degree of collaborations and support among our presidents faculty and among are health care professionals.”

Local hotels run by Esperanto Development, including hotel indigo, are making space in their hotels to help students find an affordable place to stay. 

“We’re trying to make it as accessible as possible," said Jessica Torres, sales manager at Hotel Indigo. "We have some deals running online, we have some offers but (students) can also call or walk into the hotel and we’d be more than willing to help them.” 

Other hotels who are providing affordable housing for students include Best Western Plus, Hawthorne Suites by Wyndham, Comfort Inn and Suites, Comfort Suites, and Townplace Suites.

Coronavirus Video / El Paso / News / Video

Brianna Chavez

Brianna Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter/producer.

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