Penn State students can expect to pay an additional $135 a semester in room and board in 2018-19 if the Board of Trustees approves the proposed increase on Friday.
The trustees’ committee on finance, business and capital planning voted at its meeting Thursday to recommend approval.
If it goes through, the average room and board rate — which includes a double room and mid-level meal plan — will go up 2.5 percent. What’s now $5,395 a semester will be $5,530.
It’s the lowest increase in eight years, according to John Papazoglou, associate vice president for Auxiliary and Business Services at Penn State.
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The increase wouldn’t affect the Beaver, Greater Allegheny, Hazleton and Mont Alto campuses, he said.
The proposed change comes from Housing and Food Services, which is located at 11 campuses across the state.
HFS is a “self-supported, auxiliary enterprise,” Papazoglou said. It receives no state funds or tuition dollars.
Part of the reason for the increase is the 15-year plan to renovate all of the residence halls in East and Pollock on University Park’s campus. By fall, 819 beds in East will have been renovated and 1,067 new beds will have been added through the construction of Martin, Earle and Robinson halls.
The room and board rate increase will help to provide additional revenue to fund HFS capital projects, like the renovations, Papazoglou said. Additionally, the rate increase will go toward increased operating costs due to the additional capacity from the new residence halls.
The committee also recommended the final plan approval and expenditure of funds for the third phase of East residence halls renovation, which includes renovating Brumbaugh Pinchot and Tener halls. The cost is expected to be about $84.5 million, and is planned to be completed for occupancy in fall 2019.
The first phase involved the now finished Earle Hall and renovation of Stuart Hall, which is expected to reopen for summer. The second phase consists of the construction of a new Martin Hall and renovation of McKean and Pennypacker halls, all scheduled to open in the fall.
Those phases are both tracking under budget, said William Sitzabee, associate vice president for facilities management and planning at Penn State.
The full Penn State Board of Trustees will consider the room and board changes and third phase of renovation approvals at its meeting Friday.