Housing fee increases pose inconvenience for students

Students enjoy their time outside on a sunny March day at the Shippee Residence Hall. They'll be paying more for housing next year. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus) 

The recently-announced changes to University of Connecticut student housing fees for the Fall 2017 semester have forced some students to reconsider their housing plans.

“Originally I was considering a suite, but with the huge increase in prices, I’m rethinking my plan and who I want to live with as well,” Adrienne Ngyuen, a second-semester biology major, said.

The Board of Trustees recently approved a 2.7% increase in Housing and Board rates for the 2017-2018 school year last semester.

“It messes up my plans because I can’t live in a convenient place on campus because now I’m considering the price more than what’s best for me and my education,” Ngyuen said.

Chart compiling the housing rates between 2016-17 and 2017-18 (Anna Aldrich/The Daily Campus)

Ngyuen said she has been considering commuting next semester as a result of the cost increases.

“My parents are even considering me commuting because we can’t afford it,” Ngyuen said, “It will take more time out of my day since I live an hour away.”

Sean Brown, a second-semester healthcare management major, said the fee increases are irksome but they have not altered his housing plans.

“It did not change my plans at all,”’ Brown said. “(But) I’m going to pay a lot more money for housing, I’m mad about that.”  

Brown said he felt his options for housing were limited and so the fee increase did not cause him to rethink his plans.

“There’s no other place to live, I wanted to live in a learning community,” Brown said about applying to the Innovation House learning community.

Anna Marie, a sixth-semester computer science and engineering major said she felt the fee increases were almost inevitable.

“(Fees) go up with everything, so I’m not surprised, but I’m irritated,” Marie said.

Callie Abranowitz, a fourth-semester pre-pharmacy major, said the increase will increase the financial burden on her.

“I’m from out of state, so I’m already paying a lot of money, so with the increase it’ll definitely be a struggle,” Abranowitz said.

Stephanie Reitz, UConn’s spokeswoman said the University seeks to do its best to keep costs down for students, but increases such as this one cannot always be avoided.

I’m going to pay a lot more money for housing, I’m mad about that.
— Sean Brown

“Although the University has economized in many ways, there are some costs that are out of our control,” Stephanie Reitz said. “And some of the residence halls have deferred maintenance projects that need to be done soon.”

The increased fees are intended to cover expected inflation, salary and fringe benefit increases, deferred maintenance projects and to fund a study to evaluate infrastructure, current housing policies, on-campus capacity needs and long-term housing strategies.

Reitz said the University maintains its commitment to providing a quality residential experience for students.

“Even with those unavoidable costs, UConn is committed to giving our students the best residential experience possible,” Reitz said.

President Susan Herbst has also created a taskforce to review all student fees, including room and board fees, and will report their findings and recommendations later this year.


Anna Zarra Aldrich is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at anna.aldrich@uconn.edu. She tweets @ZarraAnna.