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A 150-square-foot room for the price of a four-bedroom apartment

With almost a full year under my belt here at Miami, I’m starting to realize how much the university really tries to nickel-and-dime its students. 

There are so many little fees that we tend to overlook when looking over our semester bill, but the most noticeable cost has to be the housing and meal plan. 

Every year, Miami has increased the cost for housing and meal plans for the incoming fall students. Not only has it been steadily increasing over the years, but it’s been increasing right below the cap. For the fall 2022 students, there will be a 4.5% increase in these costs, while the cap is 4.6%. The annual cost will now range from $13,400 to $17,400, and the average that students pay is $15,080.

It’s inevitable that these cost increases have to happen every year due to factors such as inflation, but does Miami really have to go right up to the cap? 

Not only does Miami have the highest cost for living and meal plans compared to other universities in Ohio, but it requires first-years and sophomores to live in residence halls and pay these costs, whereas most universities only require this of the first-years.

The only school that comes close to Miami in price range for housing and meals is the University of Dayton, as it asks for $14,870 per year, but students only have to pay this for their first year since they’re allowed to live off-campus for the rest of their time at the university. 

Ohio State and the University of Cincinnati also only require one year of on campus living as opposed to Miami’s two, plus they’re only asking for $13,066 and $12,288 for housing and meals. 

Don’t get me wrong, the residence halls do have some positives. Though residence hall living and dining hall eating is never ideal, Miami definitely does a good job at hiring great staff to uphold these amenities and fix issues in a timely manner to keep students safe and healthy. And it’s nice of the university to give us varying options for meal plans, but does it all really have to come at this cost? 

My apartment for junior year is the same price as the shoebox of a residence hall in which I live now. It amazes me that I will be paying the same amount for a place that is right Uptown, fully equipped with my own room, a kitchen, a washer, a dryer and two full bathrooms. 

I had previously been aware that Miami receives a lot of money in donations from alumni and other sources, but after attending a Board of Trustees meeting back in February, it was even more apparent how much money the university is sitting on. We’re currently in the process of building two new science buildings and some other large projects, but these science buildings alone are costing the university $150 million. 

Will there ever be a point where some of this gift money will be put towards benefiting the students, such as bringing down annual housing and meal costs, instead of continuing to start construction projects? I’m not sure about the rest of the student body, but I'd rather have my housing cut down for sophomore year than get to utilize a new science building. 

I know it’s hard to use the money for anything other than for what the donors specify, but there will be a point where Farmer doesn't need any more amenities and we’re out of construction projects to start. 

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Why not help students out a bit and bring down housing costs?

With all the little payments that add up here and there over the four years that students are here at Miami, the most the university can do for us to make life easier is reduce the cost of living and eating so we can focus on getting our education. 

No multi-million science building is going to bring my GPA up any higher, so why keep throwing dollars at all of these construction projects? Students want to attend a university that provides them with a good education at a good price, but with all these cost increases, Miami is starting to become out of people’s price ranges. 

It’s time to halt the construction projects, bring down housing and dining costs and finally give students a break so we can focus on our education instead of worrying about price increases year after year.

granthn@miamioh.edu

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