Hey, off-campus seniors, was the price of 200 nights tickets a little too high? Has turning up the heat in the house put a damper on your extracurricular funds? The good news is the Fairfield University’s Bursar has a $200 check with your name on it. The bad news is you are too late to claim it.

Friday Nov. 8, I sped joyously up the three flights of stairs in McAuliffe Hall to the secretarial department of the bursar’s office to pick up the housing deposit return I requested two days prior. Check in hand, I drove off to the bank to cash this much needed financial gift from heaven.

According to Raymond M. Bourdeau, Fairfield University bursar, upon receiving the first tuition bill, an additional $400 is charged to the student. The first $200 is a tuition deposit that is not returned. The other $200 is a housing deposit, which, upon the student no longer requiring on-campus residence, is returned in a check in the student’s name.

The discrepancy arises during the fall semester of each year when a handful of students, through word of mouth (a.k.a. gossip, a Fairfielder’s best friend), hears that off-campus seniors were able to obtain these checks in hand rather then having them mailed home.

Once this rumor gets out, these students flock to McAuliffe to request their deposit, and the well dries up once the bursar gets wind.

“I know a bunch of kids that got their deposits returned directly to them last year,” said Meryle Haslach, ’02. “I was one of them.”

“If a student has received a check in hand, it was done so in error on behalf a member of my staff,” Bourdeau said. He added that the number is few each year, and that there is no need for a change in policy.

“I estimate that about 50 percent of off-campus seniors ask for it back each year, with an emphasis during the Spring, when I suspect students’ funds are starting to run low,” said Bourdeau. However, he clarified that a check is mailed home in the student’s name.

Bourdeau said that in years past, issues have arisen when a parent has contacted the university, complaining that their son/daughter was personally given the housing deposit check, claiming that the money wasn’t necessarily theirs to keep.

“This puts us in the middle.” Bourdeau said. “That’s why our official policy is to send these checks home. They are in the student’s name because we never know who it is that pays the tuition. Scholarships, parents, grandparents, loans, the students themselves, are all factors.”

If you haven’t picked up your check yet, don’t worry, the Mirror was assured that this money is the student’s, and, unless your account has a negative balance upon graduation, a check for $200 will be waiting for you when you go home in May. The problem now is convincing Mom and Dad to let you have it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.