CWU changes room and board rates

Wayne Gray, Staff Reporter

CWU’s change to a “Same Rate, Same Room” policy may simplify room and board for some, but increase housing costs for others. CWU recently changed its pricing model for the 2022-2023 academic year in order to simplify room and board rates for students, according to Jenna Hyatt, the associate dean of student living.

“At one point we had over 10 different rate types and so this whole program and process was to simplify it for our students,” Hyatt said.

According to the residence hall information on CWU’s housing webpage, there will be three types of rooms available: single, suite and shared. Previously, the 2021-2022 room and board rates distinguished room differences such as bathrooms or hall location; the new pricing model does not.

2022-2023 annual room and board rates will be $7,700 for a shared room, $8,241 for a suite-style and $9,532 for a single. Hyatt said the new room rates will give students flexibility to choose rooms based on preference or needs.

This could benefit those students who opted for more expensive rooms in the 2021-2022 academic year; they could now get the same room for a lower rate. According to the room and board rates for 2021-2022 and 2022-2023, a single room suite that would have been $9,997 will now be $465 less.

This move may also impose extra costs on those students who would have opted for a lower priced room provided in 2021-2022 room and board rates and planned to do the same this year. According to the 2021-2022 rates, a standard shared room that would have cost $6,952 will now cost $7,700, a $748 increase. 

Selecting a standard single room, a room that was $8,006 in 2021-2022, will now cost $9,532 for the 2022-2023 academic year. 

For some students, this $1,526 increase in room rates may have an impact on their personal finances. Hyatt said these cost differences should be mitigated by the amount of financial aid that students receive due to increased cost of attendance. 

Hyatt said CWU will be awarding $1,000 scholarships each year to incoming students in the upcoming fall quarter who commit to living in student housing for two years. Hyatt said this move could reduce the impact of housing costs for students as well.

“This whole system and rate structure was designed to really be able to support and provide access and equity to our students,” Hyatt said.

According to Hyatt, CWU has also made changes to contracts for student apartments. Students will now be signing for a bed rather than leasing the space. Hyatt said this change will get rid of the liability that was placed on students in prior leases. The contract lengths would be for an academic year rather than based on the calendar year.

“They’re not responsible for finding the other leaseholder in that space,” Hyatt said. “It’s like a contract, like in a residence hall, so if it remains vacant they’re not paying for that other bed.”

Hyatt said these moves could be seen as part of a recruiting campaign. Hyatt said she believes these changes are the right thing to do.