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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Dorm rates increased

    Elise Ramirez, an undeclared freshman and resident of Villa Del Puente Residence Hall, folds laundry in her dorms laundry room yesterday evening. Dorm rates will see an 8.9 percent increase starting next year, most of which will be used to build more residence halls.
    Elise Ramirez, an undeclared freshman and resident of Villa Del Puente Residence Hall, folds laundry in her dorm’s laundry room yesterday evening. Dorm rates will see an 8.9 percent increase starting next year, most of which will be used to build more residence halls.

    TEMPE – UA students living in residence halls are set to face the biggest rate increase for their rooms among the state’s three universities – largely to pay for dorms that haven’t been built yet.

    The Arizona Board of Regents raised the 2008-2009 rates for a nine-month contract an average of 8.9 percent, or $438 for undergraduate housing and $53 for monthly graduate housing, during its meeting Friday.

    The UA rates were passed unanimously. Northern Arizona University’s rates rose by an average of 6 percent, while Arizona State University’s rates rose by an average of 5 percent.

    Per student request, rates were set separately for each university.

    The 8.9 percent increase is broken down into an operational cost increase of 3.9 percent and 5 percent to pay for the construction and financing for three new residence halls to be built by August 2010 along East Sixth Street.

    The buildings, expected to bring more than 1,100 new beds to campus, will cost an estimated $178 million.

    The UA’s residence hall rates are subsidized, meaning there may be a $1,000 difference between nine-month contracts for the highest priced halls and the least costly halls next fall, said Melissa Vito, vice president for student affairs.

    The UA’s rates tend to fall in the middle of the range for schools in the Pacific 10 Conference, and when setting rates the rental market is taken into consideration as well, she said.

    “”We try to balance a lot of competing issues, “”vito said. “”We try to minimize increases as much as possible.””

    David Martinez III, the voting student regent and a UA political science senior, said he was concerned with why students would be paying for residence halls that haven’t been built yet.

    The UA attempts to spread out debt service to the university out over a period of time, so students don’t experience sharp increases in living rates, Vito said.

    Martinez added that he was pleased with the extent student input, as well as that of Residence Life, considered when the rate increases were formulated.

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