Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

U-M room and board rates approved for 2009-10

Residence hall room and board and apartment rental rates for the 2009-10 academic year were approved by the Board of Regents at its May 14 meeting.

Students in residence halls will pay an average 3.9 percent more for room and board next academic year. The basic rate per student for a double room with a standard meal plan will be $8,924, an increase of approximately $334 (or $37 per month) from the 2008-09 academic year.

Northwood Community Apartments monthly rental rates for graduate students and students with families will increase an average 1.9 percent. The monthly rate for an unfurnished unit will range from $501 per person for a shared two-bedroom unit to $1,217 for an air-conditioned, three-bedroom townhouse. The increase reflects adjustments for projected expenses, after planned efficiencies and reductions in operating costs and capital projects.

Of the residence hall room and board rate increase, 1.9 percent reflects a projected increase in operating expenses including higher costs for utilities, food supplies and employee benefits. Operating increases partially will be offset by $1.5 million in cost containment efforts for fiscal year 2010, such as reductions in overtime and temporary labor, staff attrition, consolidating some meal service in dining halls, and reduced expenses in student room telephone service. In the previous four years, University Housing has achieved $3.2 million in cost reductions that have helped manage room and board rates.

Two percent of the room and board increase is committed to funding the Residential Life Initiatives (RLI), a planned capital program under way since 2003 to repair and improve university housing and dining facilities for current and future students. RLI priorities include upgraded fire alarm and suppression systems throughout all the residence halls, technology improvements, and replacing deficient facilities infrastructure — electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation systems — in the renovation of selected residence halls.

"The programs and services for resident students, as well as our responsibilities to facilities improvements, are inextricably tied to room and board rates," says Linda Newman, interim director of University Housing. "We are continually identifying opportunities to reduce operating expenses and improve efficient use of our resources so that we can keep room and board rates as low as possible for students, without compromising core services and programs that strengthen the connection between student living and learning at Michigan."

University Housing is a self-funded auxiliary unit. Room and board rate recommendations are developed in collaboration with key university business offices, the student Residence Halls Association and the Northwood Community Apartments Rate Review Committee. The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs ultimately proposes the recommended rate schedule to the Board of Regents, which has the final authority in setting major university fees, including room and board.