The Miami University Board of Trustees voted to raise room and board for the 2012-2013 school year by 3.5 percent. This translates to an increase in costs for meal plans and a double room to $10,596. The cost for room will increase roughly 3 percent and board will see a 4 percent raise. Miami University says that increasing food prices are the reason for higher board costs, where food is increasing by 3 percent nationally. The university also attributes residence hall renovations as a reason behind the growing room costs.
The editorial board of The Miami Student understands that as costs for commodities increase nationwide, the university needs to supplement their losses. But there are problems with raising room and board that the university is failing to acknowledge. Firstly, the increase does not put into perspective how students will be affected financially. Oftentimes, students are paying their way through college by working university jobs. Even though room and board is increasing by 3.5 percent, most student employees are still receiving low wages. The university should adjust student wages with an increase in costs to students if they expect students to compensate for the new costs.
Secondly, the university claims that other Ohio universities are facing room and board increases, but Miami is already considered one of the most expensive public universities in the state. When Miami increases prices, even when other universities increase prices, there is still a large disparity that disadvantages Miami. The university needs to find ways to stay more cost-competitive with other Ohio public universities.
The spirit of a public university is that everyone should be able to pay to attend. Miami needs to be accessible to all and the escalating costs inhibit students. This latest increase will make Miami less accessible to another swath of the public. Moreover, the room and board raise will affect out-of-state students, forcing them to potentially choose a university with lower costs.
Yet, we do appreciate the university’s efforts to inform students of the increase before the new school year begins. This will allow students a chance to make alternative living arrangements for junior and senior year. Upperclassmen will most likely choose to live off campus and this may help the university’s problem with residence hall overcrowding. It is smart that the university has begun to send word out about the increase but it is up to the students to determine positive or negative repercussions.