Our opinion: Housing hike strikes wrong note in current economic climate

As if we haven’t spoken about the economy enough this year…In a bold move by the university, overall on-campus housing will increase in price by 4.5 percent next year, and 5 percent at University Village.

Next academic year, a four bedroom/four bathroom apartment in University Village is going to cost close to $1,000 per month. The increases keep pace with what the university has done in past years, but this is no ordinary year.

So graduate students are being kicked out of the UV to make room for undergraduates in keeping with the school’s master plan, but we’re raising prices on those same students who are facing financial hardships?

The truth is – as we’ve said before – being a private university, we must take the good with the bad. While UM is a non-profit organization, they’re not running a charity, and budgetary shortfalls must be made up. It just seems a little wrong that while property values around the campus plummet, housing on campus keeps rising as it did in years past. The value of a college education certainly increases during tough times; housing certainly does now.

So what to do if you’re fearing these increases? Think outside the borders…of campus. In an informal survey, we found students living in a four-bedroom house within five miles of campus for about $650 per person per month (with roommates, of course). The Department of Residence Halls provides off-campus resources for those seeking to move just a little farther away from the heart of it all. With that extra $250-300 per month, you could easily afford a cheap car and a 12-pack of your favorite imported beer. It’s something to think about.