WMU room and board rates to increase by 3.3 percent this fall

Contact: Cheryl Roland

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Acting at its April 22 meeting, the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees approved a 3.3 percent increase in room and board rates for the 2015-16 academic year to provide continued support for educational campus living facilities that are both affordable and attractive.

For a student living in a traditional residence hall and selecting a 15-meal plan, the new rates will translate to an increase of $288 for the full academic year. The annual cost for the room and board package will be $9,011, effective in fall 2015.

Trustees also approved summer housing rates for Western Heights, a new 750-bed residence hall designed primarily for incoming freshmen that will open this fall. The double-room rate will run $1,400 for each summer session beginning summer 2016.

The fall and spring Western Heights room-only rates were previously set by the board at its July 2014 meeting so that students applying for fall 2015 would have an idea of the cost of the new residence halls and time to decide and plan for that expense. A residence hall meal plan is required for all Western Heights residents, so the board's April 22 action means the full room-and-board rate for a student living in Western Heights and choosing the 15-meal plan is $9,845 for the 2015-16 academic year.

Complete rates for all residence halls at varying food-plan levels can be found at wmich.edu/housing/info/rates.

In 2014-15, WMU operated 20 residence halls, seven dining facilities, six cafés, and five apartment-style complexes. In the fall 2014 semester, 5,695 residents lived on campus, and 92 percent of degree-seeking, first-time freshmen chose to live in the residence halls. The 658 apartment-style units operated at 93 percent occupancy during the 2014-15 academic year.

A strategic internal planning and budgeting process supports the University commitment to creating environments where students want to live and eat while pursuing their academic and career goals. The strategy has allowed for significant improvements, incentives and discounts for students and families. The efforts are aimed at enhancing the facilities and living environments for students who choose to live on campus.

Evidence of a long-term planning process that is focused on recruitment and retention is now visible in several residential neighborhoods across campus. In the Valley Residential Neighborhood, construction will begin this spring on an iconic new dining facility overlooking Goldsworth Valley Pond. Primarily intended to serve students in the Valley neighborhood, the new Valley Dining Center is scheduled to open in fall 2016. In the Center Residential Neighborhood, the new Western Heights residence hall complex will open this fall near the Bernhard Center.

For more information about long-term housing and dining plans, visit wmich.edu/students/planning.

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.