Room rates affordable for students, compare well with other universities

Ryan Landolph

Students living on campus at Kent State are receiving affordable room and board rates for dorms that are most common. 

“[The average price] of living on campus is $3,232 per semester,” Jill Church, director of residence services, said. “That is the room rate that we use when students are estimating how much it is going to cost to go to Kent State … and live on campus. We use that rate because that is the majority of our rooms.”

The majority of the rooms Church mentioned are two double beds with a community bathroom. Dorms that provide these rooms include the Eastway dorms—Allyn, Clark, Fletcher and Manchester halls—and they make up at least half of the beds provided by residence services. 

“[There are] 25 residence halls on campus, and 12 of those buildings all [are] double occupancy rooms with (a) community bathroom,” Church said.

The average price of these dorms ranks about in the middle of public colleges and universities in Ohio, according to information from the Kent State Board of Trustees.

“There are 13 [public] Ohio colleges and universities, and [Kent State]is ranked seventh in affordability ($19,950), right in the middle of the pack,” Church said, referencing the document. “The six universities that have a base rate higher than Kent … are Miami University ($25,291), the University of Akron ($21,894), the University of Cincinnati ($21,456), Ohio University ($20,798), Ohio State University ($20,297) and Cleveland State University ($20,894).”

By looking just at the room and board rate of $9,908 per year, the value actually makes Kent State the sixth cheapest university compared to all other public schools in Ohio.

Also different from other universities, Kent State offers a discount in rooms that do not have air conditioning.

“A lot of schools do not do a differential for non-AC, (but) we do a little bit of reduction in the halls that don’t have air conditioning,” Church said. “Those are Olson, Lake, Verder and Dunbar halls, and they are $3,168 a semester.”

These dorms remain cheaper than other universities, even with a yearly increase that Church estimates is around 3 to 4 percent each year. The rates are going up because of utility costs, such as technology, infrastructure, cable, electric and water and staffing costs, which include health insurance and the increasing minimum wage.

All of these numbers brought two different perspectives from students.

“I had no idea that Kent would be ranked that affordable, but I think it is great,” Spencer Shelton, a sophomore exploratory major, said. “I noticed that [the university] was named one of the top public universities in the nation again, so it is great that Kent is providing such a quality education at an affordable price.”

Jenny McCarthy, a sophomore anthropology major, was on the opposite end.

“Even though Kent is considered one of the ‘cheaper’ universities, it definitely does not feel like that,” she said. “The amount of money students pay for a higher education in America today is insane.”

Church said the university does look at the other university’s numbers in order to make sure Kent State is able to get students to live on campus.

“We like where we are at, which is right in the middle of the pack,” Church said. “We do not want to be the most expensive … to keep Kent affordable for students … and to have on campus living available for students.”

Ryan Landolph is the residence halls reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].