Penn State Intercom......March 21, 2002

Room and board rates
are set for 2002-03

By Tysen Kendig
Public Information

Washington, D.C. -- The Board of Trustees approved room and board rates on March 15 for the 2002-2003 academic year. The new rates are effective for the 2002 fall semester at all of Penn State's residential campuses.

Room charges for an undergraduate student living in a standard double room -- the most typical living arrangement at the University -- will increase by $115 per semester, from $1,340 to $1,455. The cost for meal plan three -- the most common plan of 12 to 13 meals per week -- will increase by $65 per semester, from $1,310 to $1,375.

For the 2002-2003 year, these increases bring the average annual room and board cost to $5,660, an increase of 6.79 percent or $360 over the previous year -- a large portion of which is needed for an ongoing $50 million sprinkler installation project in all residential units over the next several years, new undergraduate and graduate housing, and upgrade and maintenance of existing residence complexes at University locations statewide. The increase is smaller than the room and board cost hike in 2001-2002, which totaled 7.9 percent.

"Housing and food service operations at Penn State are entirely self-supporting, and not subsidized with tax dollars," said Tom Gibson, assistant vice president for auxiliary and business services. "In addition to keeping pace with rising costs, these increases are necessary to support our accelerated program of renovations and safety improvements. Fire safety continues to be a primary concern, and we are devoting all available resources to this enormous project to ensure a safe learning and living environment for all of our students."

Penn State, with the largest residence hall system in Pennsylvania and one of the largest in the nation, currently operates 67 residence halls with 16,320 living spaces, and five apartment complexes totaling 1,600 units and covering approximately 4 million square feet. Undergraduate residence halls are located at University Park, Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Erie, Harrisburg, Hazleton, McKeesport and Mont Alto, while graduate housing is available at University Park, Erie, Harrisburg and Hershey. Nearly 18,000 students live in University residences at campus locations statewide.

Other housing rate changes specific to various campus living units include the following. All rates include utilities:

* Graduate residence hall rates for a standard double room at University Park with a meal plan will increase by $120 a semester per person, from $1,400 to $1,520, while standard double rooms without a meal plan will increase by $135 a semester per person, from $1,545 to $1,680. On-campus graduate students are not required to purchase a meal plan.

* Room rates for Nittany Apartments at University Park will increase by $120 to $145 per person, for a range of $1,675 to $2,055 a semester, depending on the type of apartment selected.

* Monthly rates for Graduate Circle Apartments will increase by $10 to $15 for a range of $530 to $630 a month per unit, depending on the number of bedrooms and unit selected. Rates for the new West Campus graduate family housing will range from $650 to $850 a month per unit for one- to three-bedroom apartments. Single graduate student housing on West Campus will cost $465 a month per person for a four-bedroom apartment.

* At the College of Medicine in Hershey, room rates for University Manor Apartments will increase by $35 to $80 per month for a range of $625 to $1,424 a month per unit, depending on the number of bedrooms and included furnishings and appliances, effective July 1.

* At Penn State Erie, apartment rates will increase by $125, ranging from $1,640 to $1,765 per person each semester for two-person garden units.

* At Penn State Harrisburg, new four-bedroom apartments will cost $2,100 per person per semester. New four-bedroom graduate apartments at the campus will cost $465 a month per person.