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The Antelope

The Antelope

Inflation-forced rate increases coming to housing on campus


Students living on campus next year will see an increase in their dorm expenses. The Nebraska University System Board of Regents approved a 3% increase for housing at all campuses starting next fall.

Jon Watts, Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance, said that inflation and lower housing occupancy numbers have caused a strain on UNK’s budget.

“We continue just like we do with face-to-face students, occupancy continues to be a struggle. If we can get 1700-1900 students, our conversations are a little easier,” Watts said. “We are significantly below that for occupancy.”

For the 2022-23 school year, it cost $3,354 per semester to live in the college’s on-campus upperclassmen dorms, the Antelope and Nester Halls. That price will go up by $101 per semester, or $202 annually, to $3,455. 

The freshman living options, Centennial Towers East and West and Mantor/Randall Halls, cost $2,878 per semester. Next year, that cost will increase $86 per semester, or $172 annually, to $2,964.

In Watts’ 12 years working with UNK’s finances and seven years as the school’s chief financial officer, this was the first time the school had to raise housing costs.

Last summer’s inflation had a large impact on the rate increases. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that for the month of February 2023, the cost of all items had risen 6% over the past year. Looking specifically at individual categories, food prices rose 9.5% in this timeframe and rent prices rose 8%. Numbers for March 2023 were not available at press time.

Residents in Men’s Hall will see a rate increase at 8%, but not to match government numbers. Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs George Holman said the price increase is to accommodate students being allowed to live in the dorm over the three-week January session, J-Term. Previously, Men’s Hall residents had to move out during the Friday of finals week in December. Men’s Hall rates will increase $231 per semester, or $462 annually, with next year’s rate set to $2,964.

For Fraternity and Sorority Life, their housing increase is larger but also a result of newer, centrally-located housing at Martin Hall. Moving from University Residence North and South to the new Greek Life complex to the east of the Nebraskan Student Union will have a 20% increase to it. Living in the new buildings will push the cost up per semester to $3,433, a $700 increase from this year’s $2,733. Sorority members will receive a discount next year to accommodate their mid-semester move, similarly to the discount fraternity members received this year.

UNL and UNO’s campuses are also affected by the rate increase. At UNL’s traditional halls (Abel, Harper, Schramm, Smith, Selleck and Massengale), their 3% increase equals a $230 raise in costs. This increase will change the rate from $7,635 to a new rate of $7,865. At UNO, their cheapest housing option, Scott Court, will raise to 5%. This equates to a $350 increase that pushes the rate from $6,900 to a new rate of $7,250.

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