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Penn State Students Facing Increase in Room and Board Rates

by on March 06, 2014 11:30 AM

It looks like Penn State students will have to dig deeper to pay higher room and board rates in the coming academic year.

The Penn State Board of Trustees, which is meeting in Hershey today and Friday, is considering a 4.27 percent increase for 2014-15.

Thursday morning, the board's Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning approved the proposed increase. The full board will vote on the matter tomorrow.

If approved, the average room and board rate will rise by $200 to $4,885 a semester. That's how much it will cost for a standard double room and the most common meal plan.

The cost hike is blamed on expected increases in food, utility and maintenance costs.

Gail Hurley, associate vice president for Auxiliary and Business Services, says there is an on-going need to upgrade living facilities on campus.

"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 says.

The university says the new Chace Hall as well as two of the four old South Halls buildings up for renovation are finished and occupied. Additional renovations to Redifer Commons should be completed by December.

"With the completion of this project, we will have renovated 1,049 bed spaces in South Halls, bringing the total number of new and renovated spaces to 23.5 percent of our 13,500 undergraduate spaces since 1966, the year East Halls was completed," Hurley says.

Renovation work is also planned in East and Pollock halls which house 6,300 beds. The goal is to upgrade two buildings each year.

The university also is also upgrading card access readers and installing surveillance cameras in public areas and entrances. Work on those projects is expected to be finished by the end of summer.

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Steve Bauer is Managing Editor & Chief Content Officer at StateCollege.com. Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy. You can e-mail Steve at Steve.Bauer@StateCollege.com and you can follow him on Twitter @SteveBauerSCcom
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