Wichita State University proposes a measure to raise housing costs at the same time closing one of its most affordable housing. Candi Bolden/The Wichita Eagle
Wichita State University proposes a measure to raise housing costs at the same time closing one of its most affordable housing. Candi Bolden/The Wichita Eagle

Education

Your WSU student might have to pay more to live on campus next year

By Kaitlyn Alanis

kalanis@wichitaeagle.com

November 22, 2017 08:43 AM

UPDATED November 22, 2017 01:30 PM

If your student plans to live on Wichita State’s campus next year, they might pay significantly more than some students who are living on campus this year.

Wichita State University has proposed increases to suites, bedrooms and meal plans. The proposed rates were presented to the Kansas Board of Regents this week.

The Regents will vote on rates for all universities at its December meeting, said Werner Golling, WSU’s vice president of administration and finance.

Golling said WSU proposed an average housing and board increase of 2.9 percent.

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If passed, the unlimited-access meal plan will increase from $4,060 to $4,170.

This year’s per-person rate of $6,470 for a two-person, suite-style bedroom with one bath in Shocker Hall would increase to $6,600 per year.

A three-person private bedroom suite with one bath would increase $200 from $7,030 to $7,230.

A one-person private bedroom and bath would increase from $8,650 to $8,900.

Golling said the increases were proposed to help cover increasing expenses, including a new food-service contract that will provide better food quality.

This proposal comes just months after WSU announced it would close and tear down the 53-year-old Fairmount Towers residence hall — WSU’s most affordable residence hall — and move about 300 students into The Flats, a new apartment complex on the university’s Innovation Campus.

In May, the university announced lower rates and deposits at The Flats after there were concerns over the cost. Only 47 people had signed a lease with The Flats before the university announced that Fairmount Towers would close.

Students who were moved into The Flats kept their same housing contract and the prices of Fairmount Towers. For these students, their two-bedroom apartment cost $4,380 for the school year.

Next year, if the proposal passes, these students could pay significantly more to live in The Flats.

Under the proposed rates, a two-bedroom apartment would cost $8,300 per year. This does not include the proposed $4,170 unlimited-access meal plan.

A three- or four-bedroom apartment in the Flats, with an unlimited-access meal plan, would cost $9,170 per year per student.

In the proposal, WSU said that if the proposed rates are not implemented, “the current financial stability of the housing and residence life operations would be compromised.”

WSU said it has not identified any alternative plans if the rates are not approved. The university also said that student feedback on the proposed rates was conducted through task-force meetings in October.

All freshmen are required to live on campus unless they fall under certain exemptions, including living with family members in the Wichita area.

Architecture fans tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s building at WSU

Wichita State’s Corbin Education Center held an open house of its building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright to celebrate the 150th birthday of “the greatest American architect of all time.”

jgreen@wichitaeagle.com

Kaitlyn Alanis: 316-269-6708, @kaitlynalanis