Students looking to live in on-campus housing for the 2002-'03 school year can expect a $50 per month increase in room and board rates.
The Board of Trustees approved the 8.7 percent increase to help fund a 15-year plan to improve and modernize on-campus housing Friday. The plan includes adding more rooms, renovating buildings and including more single-room and suite options for students.
The increase amounts to an extra $446 per year for a double-occupancy room with a basic mean plan, bringing the total cost to live in the residence halls to $5,546 for next year.
Internal improvements include air-conditioning, new furniture, Internet access, larger rooms and a smaller student-to-bathroom ratio.
Such changes are in response to a 2000-'01 student survey, in which students requested the types of on-campus housing they wanted, according to Douglas McConkey, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management.
Of the 1600 students surveyed, half were freshmen and 20 years old or younger. It was found that only 8.8 percent of those students share a bedroom at home, explaining the large request for more single-room options. McConkey said one goal was to cater to the needs of as many students as possible.
"Part of the plan is to provide on-campus alternatives for a range of economic backgrounds," McConkey said.
According to Dean of Students Randy Hyman, each project will be budgeted separately. Anthony Apartments are first in line for renewal.
McConkey said most housing facilities were built at least 50 years ago, therefore making the project both maintenance and rehabilitation.
"If we don't make these improvements, we run the risk of not maintaining what we've got," trustee Greg Schenkel said.
Trustees discussed how the increase would affect students who pay for college with financial aid.
Students were willing to pay more for the improvements, according to McConkey. Hyman said a parent survey of a similar nature showed the same response.