The Maneater

MU introduces ResLife initiative with reduced housing and dining costs

The initiative will result in a 3.5 percent cost reduction for the most common housing and dining plans.

MU announced a new initiative on Friday that will reduce rates for on-campus housing and expand dining plans for students starting in fall 2018.

Chancellor Alexander Cartwright, Vice Chancellor Gary Ward, several Missouri elected officials and many Residential Life staff gathered in Rollins Commons for the announcement.

The changes will result in a traditional community-style double room costing $6,430, a 2.2 percent lower rate compared to the current cost. This applies to 1,320 beds in rooms throughout Gillett, Hudson, Wolpers and Gateway Residence Halls, around 660 rooms. This new option costs $714 a month, almost $350 less for a year than the least expensive option this year.

Four hundred sixty-four beds in Hatch Hall’s double rooms will have their rates lowered 5 percent, a $340 decrease, to provide for a more economic housing option. In all, more than one-third of available rooms will have lower-priced plans next fall.

Dining plans will also be revamped. A new Mizzou Block 200 plan has been added, replacing the current Block 175 and 225 plans. This change came as a result of analysis of how much of their meal plans students were using. The Block 200 will run $3,100, about a $344 monthly cost.

Another new dining plan, Tiger Plan Platinum, is a more flexible plan that works at all campus locations, including those in the Student Center. In addition, dining plans will no longer be required for returning students who will be living in residence halls.

With these new lower-price economy plans, students will be able to live and dine on campus for less than $1,000 a month, according to the press release for the initiative.

“We’re trying to make everything more affordable,” Cartwright said. “And if it’s better for the students and they find that this is a more affordable option, as well as beneficial, then a lot of them are going to take advantage of it.”

This new initiative is expected to result in a 3.5 percent decrease in cost for the most commonly selected dining and housing plans, according to the press release. This change is one of a series of initiatives intended to make attending MU more affordable. Over the past year, MU has also announced a scholarship program for Missouri Pell Grant recipients and a move to more affordable textbook options.

“These changes are very exciting as they will help to reduce the cost of a Mizzou degree,” Maggie Recca, Residence Halls Association president, said in the press release.

Room and board is one of the largest costs for students who live on campus, normally totalling over $10,000 annually, according to the MU Student Financial Aid website. The university hopes to lessen that load.

Cartwright stressed the importance of on-campus living during the announcement, referencing several residential life programs that benefit students, such as Freshman Interest Groups and Early Alert, a program that notifies staff of students in halls that are struggling academically or socially.

“Coming from a small rural community, lower-middle class, I had to find ways — merit-based — [to pay for school],” said Tim Davis, Missouri Students Association campus community relations chair. “I joined the National Guard to afford college. I’m looking forward to more continued efforts for this.”

The option to live in residence halls year round is also included, in response to feedback from students. This will provide “convenient, hassle-free living,” according to the press release.

“The level of support we provide in our residence halls makes a real difference when it comes to student success,” Cartwright said.

Edited by Olivia Garrett | ogarrett@themaneater.com

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