UConn Board of Trustees approves fee increase for room and board - WFSB 3 Connecticut

UConn Board of Trustees approves fee increase for room and board

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University of Connecticut (WFSB file photo) University of Connecticut (WFSB file photo)

The University of Connecticut's Board of Trustees voted on Wednesday afternoon and approved a number of fee increases. 

Members of the Board of Trustees increased the school's room and board fees by about 9 percent over the next three years.

Right now, students, who live on campus, pay nearly $6,700 a year for housing. By the 2019-2020 academic year that number will soar north of $7,200 per year.  The cost of board will also go up from about $5,500 right now to more than $6,000. 

"It's driven by cost," UConn Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said. "We have some increases in some of our labor costs increases in commodities in food that we supply, the increase generally of running a residential operation."  

UConn defended the hikes and pointed out it is still considerably less expensive for in-state students than many other universities in the north east.

The board also increased a transit fee, which allows students to ride for free on any state public transit bus. That fee would increase from $120 a year to $160.

The $40 increase is all contingent on the Department of Transportation’s plan because the DOT wants to have free rides for students from Storrs to Hartford. The $40 increase will only go into effect if the program was funded by the state. 

The plan also includes fee hikes for some academic programs.

UConn also is creating a $350 fee per semester for international students to cover the university's costs of administering visa compliance.

"It's just really hard as a student to understand these changes when I don't directly see it coming to my personal experience at Uconn," student Imani Addo said. 

Some UConn students were understanding of the increases.

"Obviously, it's not gonna be popular with students, but it has to be done," student Alexander Salazar said. 

But, others said the increase feels like a punch in the gut. 

"I like what they're planning to do and the research that they're going to do here with the infrastructure," Addo said. "But, the price is hard."  

University leaders said this increase was the first time UConn has increased fees in three years. UConn's president has also formed a committee to study every fee to make sure it is being spent efficiently and is really necessary. 

For more on the plan, check it out here.

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