Trustees approve housing, meal increases fourth year in a row

Rhonda Wheeler, Editor-in-Chief

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved housing and meal plan increases for the next school year during their Zoom meeting this morning.

Housing rates increased by 2.5%. Last year, housing increased by 2%.

“We continue to work extensively with Student Affairs to maintain programming in the complexes and maintain a comprehensive maintenance program to keep USI well-positioned in price and quality,” said Steve Bridges, vice president of finance and administration, during today’s meeting.

For the apartments, a four-person, two-bedroom apartment is currently $2,472 per semester. For fall 2021 and spring 2022, it will be $2,534.

A two student, the two-bedroom apartment will cost $4,437 next year. This is $98 more than the fall or spring semester of this year.

A two-person, one-bedroom apartment will cost $3,056 per semester next semester. This is a $75 increase.

A one-person, one-bedroom apartment is currently $5,430. Starting next year, this will cost $5,566 per semester.

In the residence halls, a four-person, two-bedroom residence will be $2,534 per semester. This is $62 more than this year.

A one-bedroom studio will cost $3,056 next year. The studios currently cost $2,981 per semester.

Students who live in housing will have $50 in Munch Money added to their accounts.

“This is a result of on-campus, undergraduate enrollment decline, some housing capacity restrictions,” Bridges said. “We capped at 85% to allow for the necessary additional space with the COVID-19 virus potential quarantines and isolations.”

Meal plans will increase by 3%. Last year, the meal plan was increased by 1%.

Students who live in the residence halls are required to have a resident meal plan. Currently, the Red, White or Blue Eagle Meal Plan costs $2,235 per semester. Next year it will cost $2,302. 

The meal plan increase will go towards labor and food costs, according to the meeting’s agenda.

These increases will go into effect on July 1, 2021.

Other topics from the BOT meeting include:

  • $1.1 million carried over in unused meal plan money from the spring semester. Students still enrolled will be allowed to use their unused money until the end of the fall semester.
  • The university did not meet its enrollment goal. The fall 2020 student goal was 8,690. We currently have 8,565 students, including readmittance and non-degree seeking students. This information was provided by Rashad Smith, executive director of enrollment.
  • President Ron Rochon said he is developing a task force that is going to focus on issues of race at the university. 

The Shield will continue to cover these topics and keep the community updated as more information becomes available.