Eastern Illinois University's Board of Trustees on Friday approved an increase in room and board rates for students living in EIU housing during the 2010-2011 school year.
Students living in EIU's residence halls and Greek Court will see increases of $224 to $253 per semester (a 6.25 percent increase), depending on the chosen meal plan. Room and board rates will range from $3,808 per semester for a 7 Plus Meal Option to $4,292 for the 15 Plus Meal Option.
Four meal plan options each permit students a specified number of dining center meals per week; a specified number of "Dining Dollars" that can be used to buy additional meals in any dining center; to make purchases at Eastern's Food Court, Java B&B and Panther Pantry in the MLK Jr. Union and at the university's two residence hall convenience centers; and to provide dining center meals to guests.
Students living in one of the 148 University Apartments (designed primarily to meet the needs of student families and single graduate students) will also see increases in rates. The plan calls for increases of between $11 and $13 a month, with rent ranging from $409 to $460, depending on the type of apartment being rented (one-bedroom, efficiency or super efficiency). All utilities (including high speed internet) are included in their rent.
Rate increases of around 3 percent will also affect students living in University Court, a 146-unit university-owned apartment complex for sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students. Rates there will range from $2,331 to $3,116 per semester, depending on the type of apartment being rented. The new rate also reflects the additional benefit of water being included in the cost.
This will be the first rate increase for University Court residents since the 2008-2009 school year. According to Mark Hudson, Eastern's director of Housing and Dining Services, the university froze rates at University Court last year in order to remain competitive with student-oriented off-campus housing in the Charleston area.
"Before proposing any increase, we take a careful look at our needs, including fixed costs such as utilities, as well as employee wages and food costs. We also consider the best ways with which to maximize our resources," said Dan Nadler, vice president for student affairs.
"We don't like to increase rates, but we do believe that our careful planning allows us to retain one of the lowest housing rates among Illinois public universities and maintain our position as one of the greatest values in the state."
According to Hudson, approximately 40 percent of Eastern's student body resides in university housing. And, he added, surveys among those residents indicate that "students really feel like they get a good return on their investment. We work hard to make sure they continue to feel that way."
On-going multi-year projects involve room renovations, including the addition of sprinkler systems in all residence halls. Major renovation work planned for Summer 2010 will upgrade existing bathroom facilities in Lincoln Hall and food service lines in Stevenson Hall.
Thomas and Taylor halls will receive upgraded fire sprinkler systems during Summer 2010 and Summer 2011, respectively.