KALAMAZOO—Acting at its April 18 meeting, the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees approved a 3.25 percent increase in campus room-and-board rates for the 2013-14 academic year.
The increase will mean an annual increase of $267 for a student living in a campus residence hall for the full academic year and selecting a mid-range 15-meal plan. The annual cost for that academic year room-and-board package will be $8,473, effective in fall 2013.
"In our continued support of recruitment, retention and student success efforts, the change will keep educational campus living affordable and attainable for students, while maintaining a commitment to fiscal responsibility," says Dr. Diane Anderson, vice president for student affairs. "Research demonstrates that an on-campus living experience results in better student academic performance, an increased connection with the university community and higher graduation rates."
WMU currently operates 20 residence halls, six dining facilities, six dining café operations, four apartment-style complexes and one residential complex with apartment-style accommodations called Western View, the first phase of which opened in 2011. Phase II of Western View is slated for completion this fall and will offer accommodations for 174 additional students as well as a community center for use by residents. Rates for Western View and for other campus apartments were set by WMU trustees at their December meeting.
During the fall 2012 semester, 5,567 residents chose to live in campus housing, with 94 percent of first-time, degree-seeking freshmen living in residence halls. Additionally, 586 apartment-style and residential units operated at 96 percent occupancy during the 2012-13 academic year.
A strategic internal planning and budgeting process is underway on campus to create environments where students want to live and eat while pursuing their academic and career goals. The planning and budgeting strategy has allowed for significant incentives and discounts for students and families while also enabling the completion of $29.3 million of renovations, repairs and safety and sustainability improvements without adding debt.
The efforts are aimed at making the social and academic benefits attractive to students who choose to live in traditional residence halls. Residents can take advantage of hall activities, leadership opportunities, 24-hour staffing and a variety of dining options. Further incentives for students living in the residence halls include such options as:
- Free intramurals and fitness classes through the VIP Bronco program,
- The Second-Year Experience learning community that focuses on common second-year issues and assists with internship guidance, study abroad advising and networking with alumni, and
- The Academic Achievement Incentive that allows students of sophomore or above status to sign up for a single room and save up to $2,500 for 2013-14 if their cumulative GPA is 3.25 or higher.