by Geoff Larcom, Published March 25, 2014
YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University is pushing to continue the growth in on-campus housing that last fall saw more than 3,900 students living on campus - the largest number at Eastern since 2003. A central element of that growth is due to Eastern's commitment to upgrade to its residence halls and dining facilities.
Following through on that commitment to students, the EMU Board of Regents approved an overall increase of 4 percent for room and board rates for the University’s residence halls and apartments at its regular meeting March 25.
The rate increase for the 2014-15 academic year will enable Housing and Residence Life and Dining Services to meet the increased cost of food and supplies while handling deferred maintenance expenses and essential updates and renovations in housing and dining facilities.
The new rates include changing rental for EMU’s apartments from leases to the contract-based agreement that is used in Eastern’s residence halls, and which is in use at many peer universities. The contract rate and terms will be similar to those used in EMU’s residence halls. Residents living in the apartment under a contract will no longer be held liable to pay rent for a student roommate that leaves the University.
Residence hall and dining improvements are funded through EMU's auxiliary budget, which is paid for by housing and dining fees.
Recent housing upgrades include new windows and stairways in Phelps, Sellers, Putnam and Walton halls, upgrades to the three tower residence halls - Pittman, Hill and Hoyt - and new windows in the Brown-Munson apartment complex. Best Hall was renovated in summer 2013 for the incoming class.
Planned projects for the next five years could involve renovations to Wise, Buell and Downing residence halls, to Brown-Munson and Westview apartments and to the Eastern Eateries and Dining Commons.
Enhanced safety and security in Eastern’s residence halls has been a continuing focus, including the installation of electronic card readers on all residence hall entrances. Walton, Putnam, Phelps and Sellers residence halls use swipe cards for exterior doors and for the corridor doors leading to the residents' rooms.
The university also has invested in enhanced classroom technology and expanded wireless capability on campus.
The standard 18-meal plan, double-occupancy room in central campus halls will be $8,941. Room and board rates are somewhat higher or lower elsewhere on campus, depending upon the facility. Per-student apartment rates range from $1,800 to $3,000 per semester and do not require a meal plan.
Even with the increase for 2014-2015, EMU's housing and dining rates will likely remain among the lower room and board rates for Michigan's 15 public universities, many of which have yet to be announced.
Over the past five years, EMU has led the state of Michigan in tuition restraint, with an average increase of only 3 percent.
Eastern Michigan currently has 12 residence halls and four apartment complexes. About 4,000 students are expected to live in University residence halls and apartments for the 2014-15 academic year.