ABOR expected to approve dorm rate increase
New halls, basic cable installation in student rooms contribute to hike; rates for apartment complexes also announced
Pending Arizona Board of Regents approval today, UA students living in the dorms next year may have to pay about $205 more for their rooms.
University of Arizona Director of Residence Life James Van Arsdel said over the past few years, annual rate increases have been between two and three percent - however, he added next year's 7.6 percent jump is not a record high either.
About three percent of the proposed rate hike would be used to finance the construction of two new residence halls, as well as the leases of two additional off-campus apartment complexes.
"We have seen this coming for some time, of course," Van Arsdel said. "This is not the first time we've built a new building."
Van Arsdel said rates had to increase by about nine percent over time to cover the expenses of building the new dorms, two of which will be built near La Paz Residence Hall and the other near Coronado Residence Hall.
This year's rates increased by 2.3 percent to cover part of this debt, and in 2001-2002 a similar hike will occur.
Van Arsdel said covering the leases for Palm Shadows and Sky View apartments would cost "an arm and a leg" without passing some of the expense on to residents.
"There's no way we can have enough conference business and summer school business to cover that cost," he said.
Even with the rate jump, residents of the apartment complexes will have to pay between $3,188 for a quadruple-capacity two-bedroom apartment to $4,642 for a studio-style unit.
Another three percent of the proposed increase would be put toward operating expenses, such as hiring extra desk workers for the growing Arizona-Sonora and Pima House residence halls, and keeping wages of Residence Life staff up with inflation or "things that make sense to do," Van Arsdel said.
"Generally speaking, we're looking at salaries and wages as a big part of that," he added.
Van Arsdel said the idea to allow basic cable in every single room was proposed by members of the Residence Hall Association. These charges would cost about $42 per year, per student - which Van Arsdel said represents a significant savings over individually subscribing to a cable carrier.
"Our rates go up, but their total costs go down," Van Arsdel said.
He said that although the cable installation is not a necessity, it was initiated by residents and should not be met with any opposition.
"No one likes to see the rates go up, obviously, but at least the students I've talked to through the RHA leadership have shown some understanding and support of it," Van Arsdel said.
ABOR members were unavailable last night.
In addition to the rise in cost for undergraduate housing, rates for Christopher City family housing will face a 1.6 percent jump because of inflation, Van Arsdel said.