Housing, dining costs on the rise

Housing, dining costs on the rise

Students at Northern Kentucky University should expect an increase in price of on-campus services. NKU Campus Housing and Dining will be increasing the cost of housing and residential meal plans.
Campus housing and dining, as well as parking services, are all reliant on self-sustaining in-house funding. This means that their source of income is directly related to the services rendered and that they are responsible for their own departmental expenses such as employees, maintenance and products like food or parking passes.

“The housing, dining, and parking are all what we call auxiliaries, or self-supporting operations which have a special accounting designation,” said Kenneth Kline, senior director of the budget office. “They’re activities that are not related to our core educational mission, but they’re services we provide. So, really those units put together their budgets based on being self-supporting.”
The prices for meals, parking passes and housing are all directly related to projected expenses, and excess funding is put aside for various needs, such as emergency maintenance or projects like the repainting of the inside of Norse Hall.

Students who live on campus can expect an increase in their housing rates. Students who paid $2,135 to live in a double room in Norse Hall this semester will be expected to pay $2,200 this coming fall semester, a $65 increase in expense. Students who lived in the double room in the Woodcrest Apartments will similarly be expected to pay $2,755, which is an $80 increase from this semester’s cost of $2,675.

“We are looking at a three percent, across the board, increase for all room types,” said Interim Director for University Housing Arnie Slaughter, “and three percent is actually the lowest increase we’ve had in at least five years. Our goal typically is to keep these increases as minimal as possible, but in some cases we do need to increase rates for a variety of reasons.”
Slaughter said the fund increases will be typically expected to be used for facility improvement and anticipated staff increases. If there are no staff increases, then the funds will be reallocated to possible facilities projects, programming needs for students and paying off the department’s debt services.

Residential meal plans will see a similar increase next semester, averaging around five percent, or about $70 for each meal plan. Students who paid $1,360 for the “15 Meals (Per Week) plus $100 Flex” will now pay closer to $1,430, while students who were on the “Norse Unlimited plus $100 Flex” plan who paid $1,490 will now be looking at a price tag of $1,565 for their meal plan.
“There is going to be a project to renovate a part of the library to provide food on the weekends that will probably be funded,” Kline said. “But as of now there will not be any saving for new parking decks for a while, because if we did a new parking deck construction we would probably issue debt, like we borrowed with the [Bank of Kentucky] deck, and these payments will probably go towards issuing that debt.”

Kline explained that the price of dining plans increase based on negotiations with the food service provider Chartwells and may depend on inflation.
“The price of living at NKU goes up every year. We kind of expect it to anyways,” senior electronic media broadcasting major De’sean Ellis said. “I am originally from Louisville, so its not like I can commute to school, so I pay what I’m supposed to because I have to. Thankfully, I really have enjoyed living here, so I guess I don’t mind.”