Lauren Ceronie, Campus Editor

Living on campus at Miami University will be more expensive for students starting next year. The Board of Trustees voted Friday to increase the cost of room and board for the 2012-2013 academic year by 3.5 percent.

The increase means a typical meal plan and double room will cost $10,596. Currently, the cost of a typical meal plan and double occupancy room is about $10,240. The cost hike for room and board was higher for board than for room with room costs increasing almost 3 percent and board costs increasing nearly 4 percent.

Increasing food prices are the reason Miami needs to raise the price of board, according to David Creamer, vice president of finance and business services.

“Food prices rose quite significantly,” Creamer said at the Board of Trustees meeting Friday. “Food costs are expected to rise faster than the CPI (Consumer Price Index).”

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has predicted the cost of food will increase nearly 3 percent, a prediction Miami took into account when deciding to increase board rates, according to Creamer.

In a July 2011 letter between Jon Brubacher, manager of food purchasing and operations analyst, and Peter Miller, associate vice president of auxiliaries, Brubacher recommended increasing the cost of board to keep up with costs of food.

“After analyzing our bids prices and comparing current food prices, I am recommending a 4.75 percent increase as our anticipated increase in cost of food for the 2012-2013 school year,” said Brubacher in the letter. “This is based on our analysis of the cost of activity of high use items, discussion with suppliers, and information from web resources.”

Residence hall renovations are the reason behind the hike in room costs, Creamer said. The university plans to spend $500 million on residence hall renovations and improvements over the next 15 years and it’s common for institutions to raise room and board in advance of renovations, according to Creamer.

The university decided to vote on raising room and board rates now so students would have time to make housing arrangements for next year, according to Creamer.

“We want to give students the opportunity to know how much living on campus will be as they plan where to live next year,” Creamer said.

Miami is not alone in raising room and board rates. Colleges and universities all across Ohio, including Ohio State University, Kent State University, the University of Cincinnati, Bowling Green State University and Ohio University, are raising their room and board rates. The University of Akron has recommended raising room rates by almost 10 percent.

Sophomore Marlee Beuke said she thinks the cost hikes are unfair to students.

“It’s unfair we have to pay more for food, there shouldn’t be that much difference in price,” Beuke said. “I think they’re acting too quickly, prices probably won’t rise that dramatically.”

Sophomore Elyse Brown said she agreed living on campus shouldn’t be that expensive. Brown said she is living off campus next year, which will cost less than living in the residence halls.

“I think it’s ridiculous we have to pay so much more for a dorm than a house,” Brown said.