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Policy change makes deposit a fee

A handful of graduating or sophomore students of Pearl River Community College may have noticed money paid to the school that was once refundable is not anymore.

What used to be a room deposit for campus living at the local community college was changed to a reservation fee. College officials state the change was necessary to ensure that students who reserve rooms will make use of that reservation.

A student upset with the change notified the Picayune Item that her deposit has yet to be refunded. The student said she signed a contract for campus housing in May of 2006, just before her high school graduation. In August of that year the policy changed from a deposit to a room reservation fee, said Dean of Student Services Adam Breerwood.

Most of the students who have signed the previous contact have been refunded their money. Only those who have an outstanding balance with the college have not. In those cases the housing deposit will be credited to their account, Breerwood said.

PRCC president Dr. William Lewis said the policy change was made because the college was having an influx of prospective students who would reserve a room and then make other arrangements. That situation would cause the college to lose money since in most instances it would be too late to find another student to fill that room. Making the deposit a fee would help ensure that students who reserved rooms would occupy them, Lewis said.