Room, board rate increase expected

Correction: The article below corrects an earlier version that stated standard room rates would increase $156.29 and board rates would increase $168.96 for an academic year.

UCA’s Student Life Committee and Student Government Association unanimously approved a room and board rate increase proposal, which the UCA Board of Trustees will vote on at its Feb. 22 meeting.

SGA Vice President senior Jovana Ilic said the rate increases were necessary in order to stay competitive with other four-year universities in the state as well as other universities within the Southland Conference.

Ilic said the increases will help fund renovations and repairs to housing facilities, which include university apartment complexes and residence halls.

The proposed rates, which will go before the board of trustees, include a 2.96 percent room rate increase and a 3.2 percent increase in board rates.

For a standard room, room rates would increase $90 and board rates would increase $70 for an academic year. With the rate changes, total annual room and board costs would be $5,530, which is an increase of $160.

Summer housing renovations include installing privacy stalls in bathrooms and adding sprinklers around Hughes Hall as well as updating kitchens in Farris, New and Baridon halls.

“[Privacy stalls] have been well-received in the buildings we’ve added [them]in,” Director of Housing Stephanie McBrayer said.

Renovations also include updating flooring, painting, lighting fixtures and toilets in Stadium Park and Bear Village apartments. McBrayer said six of 10 buildings in Bear Village will be converted to single-single rooms, housing two people for each suite. She said changes to the building are not expected to be an issue for students in need of housing. The Student Life Committee and SGA approved higher rates. They proposed a three percent room rate increase and 3.25 percent board rate increase. Vice President of Finance and Administration Diane Newton said the university seeks input from the Student Life Committee and SGA when dealing with room and board increases.

“Beginning with the 2011-12 budget, changes in room and board rates have been carried through the SGA process for their input and consideration,” she said.

Although SGA approved a three percent room rate increase and a 3.25 board rate increase, Newton said lower increase rates were proposed to the board of trustees from what SGA approved and proposed “due to minor changes in the rounding of the rates.”

If passed, the proposed 2.96 percent room rate and 3.2 percent board rate increases would be effective for the 2013-14 fiscal year. Each year, room and board rates increase. However, last year a three percent room rate increase was initiated and board rates stayed the same.

“Since I’ve been on [the SGA]senate, room and board rate increases have only gone up by three percent at the most,” Ilic said.

She said that last year’s room rate increase was the only increase as far as room and board rate increases are concerned because the Aramark contract renewal was up for consideration.

“In general, the university is looking forward and to the future to renovate current housing facilities,” Ilic said.
She said renovations were necessary to appeal to freshmen as well as upperclassmen.

The board meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Feb. 22 in the Board of Trustees Conference Room in Wingo Hall.


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