GVSU students to see increase in living expenses

Cost of room and board, meal plans will rise

By gabriella patti | 2/23/14 7:34pm

Next year, students at Grand Valley State University may notice a few extra dollars missing from their wallets. The 2014­-2015 academic year will see an increase in both room and board and meal plan costs.

“This is part of an annual university review of all budget items related to supporting and maintaining a high quality and affordable housing and dining program,” said Andy Beachnau, associate vice provost for student affairs and director of housing and health services. “The university is very sensitive to any increases in cost. We strive to keep costs affordable for all our students.”

The price of a traditional dorm is being raised 1.5 percent or $120. Altogether, the average price for room and board will be approximately $8,200 per year.

Last year, room and board increased by 1.6 percent, putting the total cost per academic school year at around $8,080.

“This is less than our five-year average and also less than the five-year combined average for other Michigan universities,” said Brian Copeland, associate vice president for business and finance.

Room and board rates are evaluated on an annual basis. Included in the budget is a sum of money that covers the costs of utilities for dorms, resident assistant salaries and maintenance.

“It covers auxiliary repairs, which helps keep our housing units refreshed and dining facilities and includes things like painting, repairs and so forth,” Copeland said.

Beachnau said that even with the increase, the university is below the state average for room costs.

The average price of room and board at Ferris State University is $8, 910 per year. The average at Western Michigan University is $8,473.

The cost of GVSU’s weekly meal plan program is also below average. This year, the cost was $1,300 per semester while the state average was $1,939.69 per semester, said Doug Wentworth, director of auxiliary services in the business and finance department.

The price will vary depending on students’ living situations and the meal plan that they choose. Deb Rambadt, the Campus Dining marketing director, said setting meal plan prices is a collaborative effort between Campus Dining and the GVSU administration.

Prices are handled through the finance and administration offices and voted upon by the Board of Trustees. This rate increase was approved by the board during its meeting on Feb. 14.


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