University of Michigan regents considering student housing rate increase
Rates for University of Michigan residence hall room and board next academic year could increase 3 percent under a proposal to be considered by U-M's Board of Regents at a meeting this week.
The proposal calls for an average increase of 3 percent for residence hall room and board, and an average increase of 1 percent for Northwood Community Apartments university housing for the 2010-2011 academic year.
â€¢ See the proposal
According to U-M materials, the increase would raise the average costs of a double undergraduate hall room and board by $268 - from $8,924 this past year to $9,192 next academic school year.
It would increase the costs for a university apartment for undergraduates for a one-bedroom with one occupant from $8,510 to $8,595 next academic school year.
The proposal for the residence hall increase includes 1 percent to support operations and 2 percent for Alice Lloyd Hall facility renovations. The increase in university housing rates is for general costs of operation.
The proposed increases are needed in part to cover increasing costs for University Housing, including increasing costs of utilities, insurance, food, labor and benefits, said Peter Logan, spokesman for University Housing.
Since 2003, University Housing has also been making capital improvements to renovate aging residence halls, he said.
The department has had to balance how it cut costs, dealt with increases in operations and pursued capital improvements, Logan said.
“We’re very sensitive to the regional economy and how that impacts students and parents,” Logan said. "We've been very thoughtful about that."
In the past several years, University Housing has found areas to cut back on, such as reducing the use of overtime and contract work, delaying purchases and increasing the efficiency in dining operations like reducing food cots and reducing the number of dining halls open during the weekends to offset the increases, he said. Students have been responsive to the improvements, including those at the renovated Mosher-Jordan and Stockwell Halls, he said.
In the proposal for the regents, E. Royster Harper, vice president for student affairs, includes comparisons of room and board rate changes approved this year at other Big Ten universities, including Michigan State University. MSU's Board of Trustees approved an increase of 5.1 percent for residence hall rates, but voted to keep tuition flat.
In April, Eastern Michigan University's Board of Regents approved a freeze on tuition and room and board costs for the 2010-2011 academic year.