On-campus housing students at Long Beach State received an email March 19 detailing that the rates for housing will increase 5% for the 2019-20 academic year.
The Housing and Residential Life website has the popular double occupancy dormitory room now listed at $7,994. It was previously offered at $7,650. The cost does not include the price of meal plans, which are mandatory for housing students.
According to Corry Colonna, director of HRL, the housing rates have not risen in nine years. Many universities, on the other hand, increase their prices yearly to fall in line with inflation rates.
“I think when we share the fact that we haven’t raised rates for nine years, people can understand [the increase],” Colonna said. “Everything has gone up in price during that period.”
While HRL has done its best to use the funds to benefit students, housing wants to use the new amount to fund future projects.
“We have and always are conscious of cost and try to keep the costs down,” Colonna said via email. “But in addition to inflation, we have increased our staffing to provide better services for our students and have been working to address older building issues more aggressively.”
In the oldest residential buildings, maintenance would include updating mechanical systems and card readers.
“We want to mitigate the ‘have vs. have not’ situation as much as possible,” Colonna said.
Ivan Gonzalez, a first year criminal justice major, said the sudden increase may cause concern, considering the increase wasn’t gradual.
“Personally, I don’t have the most money so any increase is a burden,” he said. “But it makes sense if you’re going to build more infrastructure, have more maintenance and services to the people, then it makes sense.”
Gonzalez receives grants and loans to pay for school expenses and doesn’t think about housing costs on a daily basis. He said it might pose a burden later on.
“The more increases, the more I have to figure out how I’m going to cover it,” Gonzalez said.
According to Colonna, calculated with the increase, LBSU will be charging less than many California State Universities, which is significant considering the cost of living in Long Beach is increasing.
However, Talin Aivazian, a first year business major, said she would be able to find housing cheaper off-campus with roommates. To her, the increase will serve as an insignificant change to the already expensive housing rates.
“When you think about it as a monthly payment plan, when it’s broken down, I don’t think it’s that much of a dramatic increase,” Aivazian said.
Students like Vanessa Sanchez, a second year business management major, will not see much of a difference in payment since they are mostly covered by grants and scholarships. Sanchez acknowledged others may feel a financial burden, but it can be positive.
“As long as it does help…I feel like that would be a good change and a good upgrade because if we don’t see the difference or we don’t see the changes…then it won’t really help us,” Sanchez said.