Student fees increase
Published: Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 06:05
Starting next fall, dining hall, residence hall and student health fees will each increase by more than 5 percent, according to university officials.
The university’s Board of Trustees approved the resolutions recommended by the Student Life subcommittee to change the rates last week.
The previous health fee of $238 per student per semester, which was set last fall, will increase to $252 next semester. All full-time students are charged for Student Health Services at the beginning of each semester.
According to the Office of Institutional Research, a traditional double room, the most common housing assignment, costs students $6,176 this year, while next year that will cost $6,516. The most expansive meal plan, 19 meals a week, costs students $4,020 this year and will cost $4,241 next year.
Students are only required to pay the dining hall fee if they have a meal plan and the residence hall fee if they live in a dorm.
In contrast to previous years, student union and miscellaneous fees were not increased. The student union fee has increased by approximately 8 percent each year for the last 10 years and the miscellaneous fee went up by 92 percent in 2010.
David Singleton, vice president of Facilities and Auxiliary services, said his department worked with the Board of Trustees Student Life subcommittee to change the dining hall and residence hall fees.
“Fundamentally, housing rates need to cover the housing costs,” Singleton said.
He said a portion of the housing fee helps fund new building construction on campus. Singleton said new rates reflect higher dorm operational costs.
Joseph Siebold, director of Student Health Services, said he worked with the board’s subcommittee to change the student health fee.
He said Student Health Services is completely supported by the fee, which also funds staff salaries, the university’s counseling center and Wellspring, the university’s student wellness center.
“We’re a self-supporting unit in terms of health services,” Siebold said. “Everything from the shingles on the roof to the heat and electricity—we run this as if it’s a practice.”
He said funding for the Healthy HENS Program, an initiative of Student Health Services that focuses on preventative care, was provided by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
“One of the things we’ll always be looking for is anything we can get from outside sources,” Siebold said.
Freshman Briar Buchanan, who lives in Russell Complex, said she is displeased with the state of living on campus and is unhappy the university is raising housing costs.
“Living in a dorm is beginning to make less and less sense,” Buchanan said. “A lot of my friends didn’t get [their first choice of on campus] housing for next year and they had to find somewhere off-campus. They found places that were much cheaper and closer to class.”
She said next year will be her last year living in a residence hall and the increase in housing cost confirmed her decision.
“They move kids out of Rodney [Complex] into my dorm because of mold and then they raise the costs,” she said. “It doesn’t make any sense.”
Senior Scott Slavens said he has only visited Student Health Services once during his four years as an undergraduate. He said he doesn’t think paying a fee every year was worth one visit.
He said he has noticed costs have increased while living on campus for four years, but doesn’t see the immediate benefit to current students.
“I understand why the costs are going up but it’s for things that aren’t important,” Slavens said. “I guess the new buildings are important because they advance the university, but I won’t see it.”