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Trustees approve room-and-board, rental rate increases

May 2, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Acting at their meeting today, members of the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees approved a 4.75 percent increase to both residence hall room-and-board rates and campus apartment rental rates for the 2008-09 academic year.

The new residence hall rates will not affect students who were living in campus residence halls during the 2007-08 year. Last year, as part of WMU's Western Edge compact with students, the University pledged to freeze room-and-board rates for up to four consecutive years for students who choose to remain in the residence hall system. The rates approved by the board May 2 will be in effect for students new to the residence hall in 2008-09, but those students also will have their entering-year rates frozen for up to four years if they opt to continue living in the system.

"We want our students to have the social and academic benefits of remaining on campus and also have the security of knowing exactly what their rates will be for all four years," says Dr. Diane Anderson, vice president for student affairs. She noted that the increase for new residents is just slightly above the annual consumer price index, which is currently at 4 percent. The increase is intended to cover inflationary pressures and support continuing upgrades to residence halls.

The new rates mean that a student living in a campus residence hall and subscribing to the mid-level 15-meal plan will pay $7,377 for the academic year--up $335 over last year's rate. Students opting for the 10- or 20-meal plans will pay $6,945 or $7,565, respectively. The rate changes take effect for fall 2008.

The trustees' move also means the rental for 361 on-campus apartments will increase by 4.75 percent--the first rate increase since 2003. Beginning this fall, apartment rental rates will range from $547 to $803 monthly, depending on location and size and whether or not the units are furnished. The rate change means, for instance, a two-bedroom furnished Stadium Drive apartment will cost $682 per month, an increase of $31 monthly.

WMU operates 20 residence halls, five full-service dining facilities, six cash dining operations and three apartment complexes. A variety of living and dining options are available, including full room and board, room only, meal plan only, single and double rooms and academic-themed housing.

The University's system includes halls for men and women only as well as halls that are coed by floor or suite. Approximately 18 percent of students taking classes on the Kalamazoo campus opt to live on campus. About 92 percent of those living in campus residence halls are freshmen or sophomores. The residence hall capacity is just under 6,000.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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