4/10: USC Housing Update

Dear Students, Parents and Families:

We hope you are all staying safe and healthy. We miss having our students here on campus and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented period. We realize you had to move out of your housing situation very quickly and that it’s been an unsettling time with much uncertainty. We are writing today to share some details on the processing of room and meal plan refunds and to fill you in on a plan for retrieving your belongings. We hope this will address some of your concerns.

Please know that the health and safety of our community is paramount in everything we do.  We have been committed to keeping all student belongings well-guarded and we will conduct move-out efforts only when it is safe to do so. We have also been committed to taking care of the more than 1600 students who were unable to return to their homes and we will continue to offer them summer housing if they need it. Our residence hall and security staffs have ensured our students are secure and our campus cafeteria workers have been making sure they are well-fed. These essential workers have really stepped up to take care of our students and we are grateful for their dedication.  We also have many dedicated colleagues whose work, unfortunately, cannot be accomplished from home and we are guaranteeing their full salary through the end of the semester.

You have probably seen the news about universities being asked to offer temporary housing for emergency workers. USC has told the city we are ready to donate space if the need arises. In the meantime, we have launched our own Care for the Caregiver program and have been providing housing for frontline medical workers and first responders at the USC Hotel. 

Please see below more detailed information on room and meal plan refunds and a plan to retrieve belongings.

Room and Meal Plan Pro-Rated Refunds

As previously communicated, USC will provide a pro-rated reimbursement of room and meal plan payments to students who vacated university housing. These refunds will be calculated to cover the full cost of the period from March 23, 2020 through the end of the current semester and will be posted to the student’s university account. For residents whose room charges are billed monthly, no future charges will be posted to their university account. To the extent there is an outstanding balance due on a student’s university account, the refund would be applied toward the balance first, before a refund is issued.

We will process these refunds next week and anticipate them to be in student accounts by the end of this month. 

Residents who received permission to remain in their room will continue to be billed for charges as appropriate and are not eligible for the pro-rated room and meal plan refunds, except for a refund of unused dining dollars, which we anticipate will be deposited in students’ accounts by the end of this month.

Retrieval of Belongings

We understand that many of you have questions about the process for retrieving your belongings. We have designed a move-out plan that balances your safety, the well-being of our staff and local community, and your understandable eagerness to obtain your belongings. With the State of California under a stay-at-home order, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending against any large gatherings well into May, we understand that these move-out options may be less than ideal for students and families. Currently:  

  • Unless an exception has been granted, USC Housing locations are currently closed. To honor public health guidelines, please do not return until instructed.
  • Beginning Monday April 27th, we plan to offer students the opportunity to return to campus to pack and move out their belongings. We have developed a calendar schedule based upon public health guidelines, which will limit the number of people in any one area. The calendar schedule, which designates times by building and floor to manage necessary social distancing, is available online.    
  • We understand that there will be many students who will be unable to return to campus to retrieve their belongings. In these situations, students or families will be able to request that their belongings be packed and put into storage. Please email your request to housing@usc.edu
  • Packing and storage services will occur after the move-out appointments are completed, which should be by May 31st, unless further delays are imposed to accommodate health and safety guidelines.
  • The Office of Basic Needs is available to assist students for whom a return trip to campus might present a particular financial hardship.
  • The USC Housing office will continue to be in touch with further details, and you can direct any questions to housing@usc.edu.
  • We have prepared a detailed FAQ where you can find additional information.  

Please note that our teams continue to be in the process of removing perishables, securing windows, and attending to other maintenance matters to ensure student belongings remain secure until they can be retrieved. Again, we appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate through these challenging times together. We can’t wait to welcome you all back to campus and we will continue to do all we can to support you in the meantime.

Fight on!

-David Wright
Senior Vice President, Administration

-Winston B. Crisp 
Vice President for Student Affairs