WMU room and board rates to rise by 2.95 percent

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KALAMAZOO—Acting at its April 9 meeting, the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees approved a 2.95 percent increase in campus room and board rates for the 2014-15 academic year. 

For a student living in a campus residence hall and selecting a mid-range 15-meal plan, the new rates will translate to an increase of $250 for the full academic year. The annual cost for the room and board package will be $8,723, effective in fall 2014.

The new rates will provide continued support for educational campus living facilities that are affordable, attainable and attractive, Vice President for Student Affairs Diane Anderson noted in presenting the rate increase recommendation to the board. 

"As self-supporting auxiliary units, the housing and dining operations must balance rising operational costs, building infrastructure needs, debt service, student and University support and competitiveness with other universities," Anderson said. "At the same time, a commitment to maintaining and advancing programs, services, incentives and scholarships that support student success and development remains a priority."

New and returning students living in WMU residence halls can take advantage of the social and academic benefits of campus life, plus hall activities, leadership opportunities, 24-hour staffing and a variety of dining options. Further incentives for students living in the halls include:

  • Free intramurals and fitness classes through the VIP Bronco program;
  • The Second-year Experience learning community in French Hall, which focuses on common second-year issues and assists with internship guidance, study abroad and networking with WMU alumni; and
  • Such incentives as making returning students eligible to participate in a room lottery selection to receive a single room for the price of a double for 2014-15. Also, as part of the Academic Achievement Incentive, students signing up for a single room can save up to $2,500 by receiving the lower double rate if their cumulative GPA is 3.25 or higher at the end of spring semester. Students with sophomore status or higher at the start of fall 2014 are eligible.

On-campus residences

WMU currently operates 20 residence halls, seven dining facilities, six campus cafés, four apartment-style complexes and one residential complex. During the fall 2013 semester, 5,695 residents chose to live in campus housing, with 95 percent of first-time, degree-seeking freshmen living in residence halls. 

Additionally, 668 apartment-style and residential units are operating at 96 percent occupancy during the current academic year. Rates for apartment-style and residential units for 2014-15 were set by trustees when they met in December.

A strategic internal planning and budgeting process is designed to support initiatives to create environments where students want to live and eat while pursuing their academic and career goals. The planning and budgeting strategy includes significant incentives and discounts for students and families while also enabling the completion of nearly $32 million of renovations, repairs, and safety and sustainability improvements. 

Last fall, two new apartment-style buildings and a community center for Western View residents opened in the West Residential Neighborhood. Slated to open in fall 2015, an innovative new residence hall is now under construction in the Center Residential Neighborhood. Planning is also underway for a new dining facility overlooking Goldsworth Valley Pond that will primarily serve students in the Valley Residential Neighborhood. 

The complete breakdown of residence hall costs for 2014-15 is available at wmich.edu/housing/contract/rates.html.

For more information about long-term housing and dining plans, visit wmich.edu/students/planning.