Penn State students will pay more for room and board this fall due to ‘unprecedented inflation’
Penn State’s Board of Trustees approved a 3.5% increase for a standard double room with mid-level meal plan for the 2022/23 school year during a public meeting Friday, responding to “unprecedented inflation” and a loss of income in dining and retail.
Penn State’s Housing and Food Services requested the increase, citing a projected 14% increase in food costs for the 2022/23 school year.
“While this past year Penn State has seen a ‘return to campus’ [Housing and Food Services] has not fully recovered from the ongoing trends of online learning and hybrid work schedules, which result in the loss of income especially in dining, retail most notably,” the request said. “That said, we are looking at unprecedented inflation in both food costs and utilities, not unlike the rest of the world.”
Fueling the increase is the high consumer price inflation in the U.S., which the Bureau of Labor Statistics said last week rose to an annual rate of 7.5%, the fastest in four decades.
Increases for residence room rates vary, depending on the type of room and campus location, with most rising less than $200 per person each semester.
Undergraduate students can expect to pay between $30 more each semester for a large single room with bath at Eastview on the University Park campus to $796 more if they live in a single room on the Abington campus near Philadelphia, according to the budget submitted by Housing and Food Services.
Graduate apartments at University Park will see no change in rates, which was approved last September.
Two of the three meal plan levels will have higher prices while the top level plan remains basically unchanged.
Rates for a double room and mid-level meal plan at Penn State have increased every year in the last decade, ranging from 2.5% for the 2018/19 school year to 4.42% in 2011. Overall, next year’s new semester rate will be 40% higher than what students were paying ten years ago.