Penn State is considering increasing room and board rates by about $400 for the next school year.
The average cost for a standard room with two beds and the most common meal plan would be $4,885 per semester, or $9,770 for the year. That’s a 4.27 percent increase over the current year.
The rates were proposed Thursday during a meeting of the board of trustees’ finance and business committee. The full board will take up the proposal Friday.
Administrator Gail Hurley said the proposed increase would go toward covering expected increases in food and utilities costs, and building maintenance.
Hurley said the university must upgrade on-campus residences to keep and attract students, especially with an influx of amenity-filled off-campus apartment complexes.
“We have a large and seriously aging inventory that lacks some critical student amenities, such as in-room wireless capability, air conditioning, flexible furnishings and bathroom privacy,” Hurley said.
Penn State’s room and board rates for the current year fall in the lower half of the Big Ten Conference.
Penn State’s current rate is $9,370 for the year, higher than rates at Indiana, Michigan State, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Northwestern has the most expensive, at $13,862.