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Summer room and board rates rise about 6%

The Ohio State Board of Trustees approved increases for all three summer room and board rates currently offered to undergraduate students during their last meeting.
According to the Board Finance Committee’s meeting agenda, Rate I includes air-conditioned two-person rooms with suite baths attached to the bedroom, single rooms and the Neilwood and Worthington/Neil apartments, which in fiscal year 2012 cost students $6,810 for Summer Term. A 6 percent increase will be implemented this year, raising room and board to $7,220 for Rate I fees.
Rate II includes air-conditioned four-person rooms with suite and semi-private baths and two-person rooms with corridor baths which, according to the agenda, cost $5,685 in fiscal year 2012. With an approved 5.9 percent increase, Rate II will cost students $6,020 in 2013.
Rate III includes non air-conditioned two, three and four-person rooms with corridor baths and was the least expensive rates priced at $5,620, a 6.1 percent increase over last year’s $5,295.
Geoff Chatas, OSU’s chief financial officer, said during the meeting that the new rates were in response to OSU’s conversion to semesters.
“Separate rates are required because the Summer Term is structured differently than autumn or spring,” he said.
Summer Term 2013 will be split into a four-week May Session and a nine-week Summer Session. Students have the option of enrolling for a single session or for the entire 13-week term.
Chatas said Board plans, which cover meals for on-campus students, will be optional for the Summer Term, unlike Spring and Autumn semesters when they are built into the housing fee.
“(This reflects) the different needs of students who may be here,” Chatas said.
In particular, this change is to accommodate students who plan to study abroad during May Session and will not be on OSU’s campus for the entire four weeks, he said.
However, all campus residence halls are not open to students for Summer Term and Dave Isaacs, spokesman for OSU Student Life, said the dorms available for Summer Term are different every year.
“The university does cleaning, maintenance and things of that sort that can’t get done when people are living there all year,” Isaacs said. “The way the buildings are chosen has to do with the number of people coming in and the amount of repairs … but there’s no exact formula,” he said.
Students will be living in the William H. Hall Residential Complex located on West 10th Avenue this year. The Hall Complex consists of the Worthington and Neil buildings and Scholars houses East and West. The Worthington and Neil buildings are included in Rate I pricing.
Katie Strand, a first-year in exploration and resident of Morrill Tower, said she pays about $5,000 per semester for housing and thinks the slight increases may cause students to pursue off-campus housing options.
“A lot of people lease their houses in the summer,” she said. “So I think people would look into that first before living on-campus.”
Julia Holthaus, a first-year in business and marketing, said she agrees with Strand, but thinks students will also consider another option.
“I think people could get a loan for it,” she said.
The rate increases will also apply to the Newark and Mansfield campuses and the Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster, Ohio, Chatas said.

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