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Room and board rates will see 4 percent increase

April 15, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Campus room and board and rental rates at Western Michigan University will rise by 4 percent for the 2010-11 academic year, but students already living in the residence hall system will continue to pay their entering room and board rate.

The new residence hall rates adopted by the WMU Board of Trustees April 15 will not affect students who are currently living in campus residence halls. Three years ago, as part of WMU's Western Edge compact with students, the University pledged to freeze room and board rates for up to four consecutive years for students who choose to remain in the residence hall system.

The rates approved by the board will be in effect for students new to the residence halls in 2010-11, but those students also will have their entering-year rates frozen for up to four years if they opt to continue living in the hall system.

"For three years now, we've been able to offer our students the social and academic benefits of living in our residence hall system and also having the security of knowing exactly what their rates will be for up to four years," says Dr. Diane Anderson, vice president for student affairs.

"We know students do better academically and move more quickly toward graduation if they take advantage of our residence life system. We've been working hard to make that easier for them to do."

She noted that the total savings to students and families who took advantage of having their previous year's rates frozen because of the Western Edge compact amounted to approximately $700,000 during the first two years of the commitment. Savings estimates for the 2010-11 year are pegged at about $500,000. In addition, programs are in place to offer students who do well academically additional room options and savings as a reward for their performance.

The new rates mean that a student living in a campus residence hall and subscribing to the mid-level 15-meal plan will pay $7,895 for the academic year--up $304 over last year's rate. Students opting for the 10-meal or unlimited meal plans will pay $7,432 or $8,095, respectively. The rate changes will take effect at the start of the fall 2010 semester.

The trustees' move also means the rental for 361 on-campus apartments will increase by 4 percent. Beginning this fall, apartment rental rates will range from $586 to $859 monthly, depending on location and size and whether or not the units are furnished. The rate change means, for instance, a two-bedroom furnished Stadium Drive apartment will cost $730 per month, an increase of $28 monthly.

WMU operates 20 residence halls, five full-service dining facilities, six cash dining operations and three apartment complexes. A variety of living and dining options are available, such full room and board, a room only, a meal plan only, single and double rooms, and academic-themed housing.

The University's residence hall system includes halls for men and women only as well as halls that are coed by floor or suite. Approximately 89 percent of students living in the halls are freshmen or sophomores, and 91 percent of all degree-seeking, first-time freshmen choose to live on campus. The residence hall capacity is just under 6,000.

During 2009-10, a number of capital improvements to the campus residence life system have been undertaken. Davis Dining Service, for instance is now undergoing a major renovation and will reopen this September. Other improvements in the system are focused on improving both sustainability and reducing costs by conserving energy, reducing food waste and cutting water usage and supply expense.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400