Mizzou is lowering some of its residence hall rates beginning in the fall 2018 semester. The school, which is experiencing shrinking student housing demand and enrollment, hopes the rate changes will inspire more students to live on campus.
If housing demand increases, football fans and those going to other school activities might have to kiss the campus dorm room rental experience goodbye.
School officials chose to close seven dorms for this fall’s semester and instead turn the suites at Mizzou’s Respect, Excellence and Discovery halls into overnight getaways for the general public. Guests pay $120 a night for four twin beds. Michelle Froese, Assistant Director of the Dean of Students, tells Missourinet the lodging option has prompted plenty of interest in its infancy.
“We have been sold out for the home football weekends and our feedback from the people who have stayed is that they love it and we’re happy that they do,” says Froese. “But our priority is to house our students. Ideally, we would like to get out of the weekend conference business for football and have it full of students.”
Froese says general public room rentals next year will depend on openings.
“While we enjoy having guests come to our campus, students are more connected when they live on campus when they’re going to school,” says Froese. “So, they are more successful. We’d rather have students be using the facilities than others, but we will continue guest and conference housing while there is availability.”
More than 650 community-style, double rooms (1,300 beds) will drop 2.2% while rates for 232 double rooms (464 beds) in Hatch Hall are dropping 5%. All other housing rates will remain flat.
“It’s not lowering every rate for every single room in a residence hall on campus, but we’re looking at these two components that seem to be very popular,” says Froese. “It’s popularity and this is a balancing act. We’re looking for ways that we can effectively reduce the costs and still maintain budget.”
Fall 2018 dorm rates will start at $714 a month, nearly $350 less annually than the least expensive current plan.
Mizzou’s affordability initiative for students also includes cheaper dining options and more flexibility with the plans.
“Students don’t necessarily eat three meals a day. That’s just not realistic. Having some flexibility to be able to have a less expensive plan with maybe fewer meals on it is very appealing to students and to their families,” says Froese.
Dining rates will start at $283 a month, which is about $300 less annually than the lowest option currently available. Returning students living in residence halls will no longer be required to purchase a dining plan. If they choose to roll out of bed late and grab a pop tart or live off of Ramen, then so be it.