News / Calgary

Calgary post-secondary considers adjusting residential fees in light of economy

University of Calgary and Mount Royal University reconsidering fees

Kendra Toth is excited to see the University of Calgary considering a residential fee freeze in these tough economic times.

Jennifer Friesen/ for Metro

Kendra Toth is excited to see the University of Calgary considering a residential fee freeze in these tough economic times.

Despite having filled 89 per cent of residences this year, the University of Calgary is considering what students are declaring a decade-first: freezing residential fees and even lowering the cost of certain rooms.

The proposal, which the University won’t comment on until December if it’s approved by the board of governors, would freeze residential fees for next year, as well as a 12 per cent decrease in four-bedroom apartments for two of their buildings.

“I’m not sure they’ve ever done a decrease, it’s pretty exciting,” said the Residence Students’ Association president Kendra Toth.

Toth said the yearly increases on residential rates have piled on, and if this passes, students will have some relief next year. For upper year students who may be deciding whether to stay or move, she said the 100 dollars per month they could save with the 12 per cent drop is a big deal.

“This is a good example, and good move on behalf Resident Services and Ancillary Services to be responsive to the economic environment of Calgary and the housing market right now,” said Students’ Union president Stephan Guscott. “It’s being responsive to students' feedback, and responsive to the high cost of the (four bedroom suites).

The Residence Students’ Association started a new initiative this year to bring students closer to these cost consultations, and have their voices heard. In September the “budget priorities committee” formed to gather student and staff feedback and priorities.

“We wanted to see what students felt strongly about, and if we could make some of those things happen this year,” Toth said. “It was a really exciting process, and a pilot program this year…I think it was a success and I look forward to seeing it grow.”

At Mount Royal University the picture is painted a little differently, they report occupancy rate at 96 per cent. They’ve already made the move to keep residence fees level.

“It's important to keep costs as consistent as possible so students can better plan for their expenses and make good decisions,” wrote Mark Keller, director of Residence Services at Mount Royal University. “For next year, we are reviewing our rates in light of the current rental market to ensure we remain competitive.”

Keller added the school never stops working to attract more students to campus living, and keep those who have chosen residence at home with MRU.

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