Room and board rates remain consistent for next semester
By Eboni Lacey
April 9, 2012
Though programs and other Western activities are facing low funding or higher student costs, Western’s dormitory costs have remained the same with just a slight increase in the super single suites.
“This year we are very fortunate that the board of governors allowed us not to raise the prices,” Mark Stier, director of residential life, said. “If you would check around other college campuses you would see that they have all raised their prices some how.”
The slight increase, however, involves a 4.5 percent increase to students planning to live the super singles. According to the 2012-2013 housing proposal, the increase, which is $122, will be used toward renovating the suites, the outdoor community basketball and volleyball courts and introducing the Greek village. Renovation plans include painting the exterior sidewalks, balconies and stairwells and the interior floors as well as providing larger bedrooms and additional furniture.
“We have put this area, being the oldest, on a renovation plan for the summer,” Stier said. “Starting with Juda, which is the also the area for the Greek village, all the metal work you see here will be striped down and be painted black. All the concrete will be patched and sealed. The doors and air conditioning units will be painted gold.”
The renovation plans will start with Juda this summer followed by Logan the following summer and Beshears for the summer of 2014.
In addition the cost consistency, Stier said that more students are living on campus since Griffon Hall was completed in August of last year. Due to Griffon Hall being built, capacity availability has increased by almost 300 beds with no waiting list for students. With this new edition, the occupancy rate for both the fall and spring semesters have remained consistent with 92 percent occupancy rate within the residence halls.
“Based on my experience this is probably one of the highest numbers you’ll find for a state institution,” Stier said regarding the percent. “If we would not have had Griffon Hall this year, we would have been 16 percent over capacity. I think more students are living on campus especially with Griffon on line now because Griffon Hall provides a lot of the amenities that they would find off-campus.”
Board rates will see a 4.5 percent increase as well for students with certain meal plans. Any student not having a declining flex dollar balance will see a roughly $60 increase in the board rate.
Though some board rates and room rates will see the increase, Western has greatly improved the residence halls, which makes the slight increase very worthwhile, according to Dean of Student Affairs Judy Grimes.
“I think it’s wonderful that we are able to keep costs low for students,” Grimes said. “They’ve done an amazing job particularly this year in housing to increase retention rates. They’ve quadrupled the programing in housing. This year in housing we have for the first time seen higher retention rates and higher GPAs from our housing residents. This hasn’t happened in five or six years.”
Juda Hall resident and former Griffon Hall resident Lucy Hall said that although the price will not increase much for next year, the price of living on campus is still fairly high.
“If you live off campus, there’s places that you can live for $300 or $400 a month,” Hall said. “If you multiply that for the months we stay on campus, that would only be $1200. But to live in Griffon is double that. Plus you’ve forced to buy a meal plan even if you don’t want to. It’s too expensive.”