BOT approves 1 percent increase in housing and dining rates


NMU Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Mahaney gives a thumbs-up at a previous meeting. Tim Eggert/NW

Tim Eggert

After consecutive years of high room and board rate increases, the NMU Board of Trustees (BOT) voted at its Feb. 15 meeting to increase the cost of on-campus housing and dining meal plans less than 1 percent for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

The combined cost of a double-occupancy room in “traditional residence halls,” such as Spalding, Hunt, Van Antwerp, Magers and Meyland Halls and the “silver constant” meal pass—the new dining plan base requirement—will be $5,247 per semester, an increase of $44 or 0.85 percent.

A double-occupancy room in a residence hall of The Woods complex, such as Birch, Cedar and Maple Halls, with the same meal plan will be $5,650 per semester, an increase of $55 or 0.98 percent.
“The fact we’re able to keep room and board increases at less than 1 percent is a testament to the great staff managing housing and dining, but also to the choices and options Northern makes available to students,” Trustee James Haveman said, according to a university press release. “I just want to thank the people who are able to hold costs down for the students. That’s really our goal and I think we accomplished it this time.”

In 2018, the BOT approved a 3.5 percent increase for double-occupancy rooms in traditional residence halls while in 2017 the BOT approved a 4.9 percent increase for the same traditional residence hall room option.

While the combined cost of the required base meal plan and double-occupancy traditional residence hall and The Woods complex rooms will increase by less than one percent in the fall, all on-campus apartment rates, which are not subject to a required meal plan, will increase on average 3 percent.

Another exception to the room and board rate increase is Spooner Hall. All Spooner Hall room and apartment rate options and Spooner Hall meal plan combined costs will increase by 2 percent.

Other meal plan options will also increase. The “platinum constant” meal pass will cost $2,685 per semester, an increase of $74 or 2.8 percent; the “gold constant” meal pass will cost $2,555 per semester, an increase of $68 or 2.7 percent; the “bronze 10” meal pass will cost $1,870 per semester, an increase of $43 or 2.4 percent.

“Northern is able to control costs better than any university in the state and, if we did a little research, that might even extend to the nation,” BOT Chairman Robert Mahaney said, according to the release. “The fact we can keep room and board rates increases below 1 percent is remarkable.”