UI dorm fees could increase next year

BY EMILY BUSSE | MARCH 25, 2010 7:30 AM

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University of Iowa officials announced a proposed dormitory-fee increase of roughly 4 percent at Wednesday’s state Board of Regents meeting.

Board President David Miles called the presentation purely informational at this point.

The increases were included in the Residence System Governance Report.

Under the proposal, UI residence-hall rates would increase by approximately 4.4 percent for fiscal 2011; Iowa State University officials proposed a 3.5 percent hike, and the University of Northern Iowa plans to increase by 2.3 percent.

Last year’s increase was roughly 4.3 percent at the UI.

Some individual rooms may not increase by the full 4.4 percent for next year.

The traditional double dorm room would cost an extra $7,662, an increase of 3.9 percent. Iowa State University doubles will increase by 2.7 percent and the University of Northern Iowa doubles will increase by 2.3 percent.

UI double rooms increased by $7,376 last year, a 4.2 percent increase.

Brad Berg, the regent’s policy and operations officer, noted before the presentation that residence systems are entirely self-supported and receive no state appropriations.

UI spokesman Tom Moore said that while the UI is increasing rates the most out of the three institutions, the extra money will go to directly aid students.

“[It will] enhance the overall educational experience for the students,” he said.

Two-thirds of the extra fees will be channeled into safety and security efforts, Moore said, naming sprinkler systems as a way the UI is exceeding mandated safety measures.

The fees will also go toward infrastructure issues including enhancing restrooms in the dorms.

Other public universities in the country are also instituting dorm-fee hikes.

The University of California-Los Angeles has increased dorm fees for the past four years. The increase before the 2009-2010 school year was 4 percent.

According to a Feb. 19 Janesville Gazette article, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater officials plan to use dorm-fee increases to recover costs of renovations in the dorms.

The regents took no formal action Wednesday; the increases will be considered for approval at next meeting in late April.

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