WMU News

Increased operating costs prompt room-and-board, rental rate changes

April 23, 1999

KALAMAZOO--Increases in operating costs, including those for food, utilities and maintenance, have prompted an increase in room-and-board and apartment rental rates for 1999-2000 at Western Michigan University.

The increase, approved April 23 by the WMU Board of Trustees, will average 5.5 percent for room-and-board rates and 3.5 percent for apartment rental rates. WMU operates 22 residence halls, six full-service dining facilities, five cash dining facilities and three apartment complexes.

"The new rates will allow us to absorb expected increases in our operating costs," said Robert M. Beam, vice president for business and finance. "Those costs include compensation, utilities, food and maintenance."

Using constant dollars, which account for inflation, residence hall rates have increased less than $400 since 1989, information provided to the board shows. Apartment rental rates have gone up just $60 over the past 10 years.

The cost to live and eat in a residence hall for the 1999-2000 academic year will be $4,340 for 10 meals per week, a difference of $240. Costs are higher for 15- and 20-meal plans. Apartment rental rates range from $413 per month for a one-bedroom, unfurnished apartment in Goldsworth Valley to $659 per month for a two-bedroom furnished apartment in the Elmwood Apartments.

WMU has a residence hall capacity of 6,100 students and operates 585 apartments for families, single graduate students and non-traditional students. Residence halls opened the 1998 school year at 98 percent occupancy. Apartments are occupied at a rate of 95 percent to 99 percent.

Media contact: Mike Matthews, 616 387-8400, michael.matthews@wmich.edu

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