By DAVID DUPONT
BG Independent News
The Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees approved increases in room and board Friday.
These were the first fee actions taken under the Falcon Guarantee program, so for incoming first-year students these are the charges that they will pay during their undergraduate careers.
The average increase will be 2.3 percent, but the actual amount varies depending on the residence hall and room.
Chief Financial Officer Sheri Stoll said that the state asks the university to report the cost of its standard double room. Such a room will cost $2,865 next year, up $75, or 2.7 percent.
Room rates vary from $2,210, up $40, or 1.8 percent for an economy triple in a tier 2 residences (Conklin, Offenhauer, Founders) to $4,120, up $90, or 2.2 percent in a tier 3 hall (Centennial, Falcon Heights, Greek units.)
Stoll said that in considering room rates the university has to balance “competing issues.”
It must be cognizant of how much local rental prices are, and Bowling Green has some of the lowest real estate prices. But it must also make sure it’s bringing in enough money to support the programs offered by residence life. Also, Stoll said, the university has to take in enough revenue to maintain the buildings to make sure that “we are able to keep residence halls that students are going to want to come and live in.”
The trustees also approved 3-percent increases in meal plans. The plans will now range in price from $1,719 for a Bronze Plan to $2,220 for a Gold Plan. Also, the Community Plan, formerly known as the Commuter Plan, will increase to $325 from $315, a 3.2 percent increase. The name of the plan was changed to reflect that it is used by faculty, staff, and community members as well as commuting students. That plan gives card holders 55 meals.
The new board rates will hold for the class of 2022 for their next four years. Students in the classes 2020 and 2021 could be subject to future increases. However most of those students as upper classmen would be living off-campus.
Stoll said the expectations of students must be taken into consideration. “Our students aren’t just looking for food,” she said. “Students are clearly looking for experience.”
Stoll said that the cost of food has been steady with no large increases. “We are seeing areas where there could be some upticks.” She added: “We’re just one wet or dry summer way from higher food prices.”
Even with these increases BGSU remains the fifth least expensive among state institutions, and less expensive than the other four corner schools.
The trustees also increased pass through fees.
Though the state has frozen fees, it allows universities to increase fees paid by students to third parties. These fees are still billed by the university bursar, which allows students to use financial aid to pay them.
Trustees voted to increase fees for aviation students at the Bowling Green Flight Center. “The same demand for pilots that’s driving students to see potential for a career path … is challenging us to find instructors to provide training,” Stoll said.
They also approved a new $133 fee to pay for a portfolio management system for education students. Students only have to pay once in their college careers, and the fee is $90 for current upper classmen.
Dean Dawn Shinew said the school had been using a system it had developed, but the need for more data collection has outpaced the capabilities of that system.
Three vendors were looked at, she said. However those three have now ended up merging into one, Live Text. Shinew added that Live Text is interested in incorporating elements of the BGSU system into its system.