WMU News

Trustees OK room and board increase

April 24, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- An increase of 5 percent in room and board and apartment rental rates was approved April 24 by the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees. The board had tabled the recommended increase last month to allow time for public comment.

"Even with this increase, our residence hall rates remain competitive and continue to represent real value for our students," said Robert M. Beam, vice president for business and finance.

"Including these rates, the average annual increase over the past seven years has been just 3.2 percent or very close to the rate of inflation," he said. "When adjusted for inflation, the actual cost for room and board at WMU has increased by just $200 over the past 20 years."

The new rates are effective with the start of the fall semester. This year's increase will allow the University to absorb expected increases in operating costs, compensation, utilities, food and maintenance.

This is the first increase in three years that applies the same change in rates to all students. Rates were frozen for all students in 1995-96 and for returning students in 1996-97. Last year rates were set for returning students at the previous year's levels.

During the past three years, the University absorbed operating cost increases without sacrificing service to residents, Beam said. The rate freeze was part of efforts to increase occupancy in the residence halls. Occupancy has increased by about 435 students in the past three years for a total 5,690 students at the beginning of the fall semester.

The halls operated at 95 percent of capacity during the fall semester and at 91 percent during the

current winter semester. Of all residents, 83 percent are freshmen and sophomores. WMU operates 22 residence halls, six full-service dining facilities, four cash-dining facilities and 585 on-campus apartments for student families, single graduate students and non-traditional students. The University's three apartment complexes operate at 95 percent to 99 percent of capacity.

Here are the 1998-99 room and board rates with last year's rates in parentheses: room -- academic year (fall and winter), $1,906 ($1,815); spring, $442 ($447); summer, $459 ($423); single room per day, $6.50 ($5.50); board (20 meals per week) -- academic year, $2,685 ($2,583); spring, $666 ($652); board (15 meals per week) -- academic year, $2,610, ($2,527); summer (14 meals per week), $562 ($565); board (10 meals per week) -- academic year, $2,194 ($2,055); spring, $552 ($522); summer, $552 ($489).

Rates include a deferred maintenance fee of $25 per semester (fall and winter) and $12.50 per session (spring and summer) as well as a program development fee of $6 per semester and $3 per session. Those fees are unchanged.

Here are the 1998-99 monthly apartment rental rates with last year's rates in parentheses: Goldsworth Valley -- one-bedroom furnished, $433 ($412); two-bedroom furnished, $491 ($468); one-bedroom unfurnished, $395 ($376); two-bedroom unfurnished, $448 ($427); Stadium Drive -- one-bedroom furnished, $443 ($422); two-bedroom furnished, $524 ($499); one-bedroom unfurnished, $411 ($391); two-bedroom unfurnished, $476 ($453); Elmwood -- one-bedroom furnished, $494 ($470); two-bedroom furnished, $643 ($612); one-bedroom unfurnished, $459 ($437); two-bedroom unfurnished, $562 ($535).

Rates include a $6 per month deferred maintenance fee, which is not changed.

Media contact: Mike Matthews; michael.matthews@wmich.edu


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