Boarding costs to increase for next year

Lower occupancy dorm rooms to cost more than high occupancy rooms

By Adam Ehrenberg

The cost of dorm rooms is set to increase starting in the fall semester of the 2006-2007 year, with two-person rooms being the basis for a new system of gauging room costs.

The cost of a room, which in the past had been the same for everyone regardless of the number of occupants, will be based next year on room occupancy, with the double-room — the major room type in both the male and female dorms — being used as the basis for the new price increases. The cost of a double-room will be $2,580 per person next year, compared to $2,130 per person this year for a room of any capacity. The other types of rooms which will continue to be available next year are the single room, which will cost $3,100 per person, the triple-room, $2,320 per person, and the quad, which will remain the same at $2,130 per person.

“We were concerned because even though most of our male and female dorm rooms are double occupancy, the female rooms are anything from a single all the way up to rooms that can hold six girls,” said Daniel Stewart, dean of Student Services. “So we decided to set the base rate on the double-room, and then made it less for the triple and less for the quad so that people can pay less if more people are living in the room, to try to be fair.”

Returning students are the only ones who are given the opportunity to state their preferred room type. Because returning students usually request single and double rooms, which are the fewest in number, the probability exists that a new student will be assigned a larger room, and thus pay a cheaper price

Although the increase in the cost of a double-room will be more than in recent years, the cost of rooms at Flagler will still be less than at other Florida colleges, Stewart said.

“We did research and found that our room rate was much lower than any other colleges in the state, including the state institutions. So we knew it was time to make that adjustment, but in doing so we also wanted to open up some options with our housing,” he said.

Additionally, when compared to the past three years, the cost increase for boarding students’ meals will be considerably less than average, and the tuition will be only slightly more than average.

As a result, compared with the past three years, the total cost of attending Flagler in 2006-2007 will be increased only slightly more than average for a double-room occupant, about average for a triple-room occupant, and less than average for a quad occupant.

According to The College Board’s report, “Trends in College Pricing 2005,” the average total cost (tuition, room, and board) of attending a four-year private college in the United States for 2005-2006 is $29,026, with tuition costing $21,235, and room and board costing $7,791.

This is greater than Flagler’s total cost, which for 2006-2007 will be between $14,760 and $15,730, with tuition costing $9,450, and room and board costs ranging from $5,310 to $6,280.

Flagler even rivals the average total in-state costs for 2005-2006 at four-year public colleges across the nation, which, according to the same source, is $12,127, with $5,491 for tuition and $6,636 for room and board.

Despite the fact that Flagler costs less than the national average, some students are upset with the increase.

“I think if they’re raising the prices for the dorm rooms, they should improve the rooms,” freshman Pat Dalton, a resident of Lewis House, said. “Even if they just gave us basic cable in our rooms … and let us use a refrigerator in our rooms for free instead of making us rent one. That would be a lot better.”

Sophomore Amanda Earnest felt that it makes sense to increase cost according to occupancy, but said that it was not completely fair, as freshman will not have a choice of how many people they will live with.

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