Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, May 21, 2010

Room and board rates approved for 2010-11
academic year

The Board of Regents at its meeting Thursday approved rates for residence hall room and board and University Housing apartment rentals for the 2010-11 academic year.

Students in U-M residence halls will pay an average of 3 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 $9,191, an increase of approximately $267 (or $134 per term) from the 2009-10 academic year.

Northwood Community Apartments monthly rental rates for graduate students and students with families will increase by an average of 1 percent. The monthly rate for an unfurnished unit will range from $506 per person for a shared two-bedroom unit up to $1,229 (total) for an air-conditioned, three-bedroom town house.

These moderate increases reflect adjustments for projected expenses, after planned efficiencies and reductions in operating costs.

Of the residence hall room and board rate, 1 percent reflects a projected increase in operating expenses, including utilities, food supplies and employee costs. Two percent of the residence hall room and board rate is committed to funding major projects that are part of the Residential Life Initiatives (RLI), a planned capital program launched in 2003 to improve university housing and dining facilities.

Operating increases partially will be offset by more than $1.7 million in cost containment efforts for fiscal year 2011, including reductions in overtime and contract labor, staff training, purchases of supplies and computers, as well as staff attrition and efficiencies in residential dining operations. Since fiscal year 2006, University Housing has achieved $7.9 million in cost reductions that have helped keep room and board rates as low as possible.

The Residential Life Initiatives 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. Currently, renovations are under way on Couzens Hall, to reopen in the fall of 2011. RLI funding also is part of the construction of the new North Quadrangle Residential and Academic Complex that will open for the fall 2010 term.

“University Housing is very careful about stewardship of resources, including the facilities and services we provide as well as the operating budget derived from room and board rates,” said Linda Newman, director of University Housing. “We continually review our operations and identify ways to improve efficiencies and reduce expenses. This enables us to keep rates as low as possible for our student residents while we continue to invest in the physical environments and the services that provide a valuable residential experience.”

University Housing is a self-funded auxiliary unit of the university. 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 rates.