Living in University housing will cost more next year because of an increase in the room and board fee approved by the University Board of Regents last week. Though the actual increase varies depending on the type of room, the average for those in residence halls is 4.9 percent, while those living on North Campus in Northwood Apartments will see an average increase of 5 percent.

For students living in a double room at a traditional hall with the standard meal plan of 13 meals a week, the basic housing rate will be $7,374 for the year, an increase of $334 from last year’s rate.

The new rate has risen in accordance with inflation projections for the cost of operation next year, though funding will also go to enhancing fire protection systems in West Quadrangle and Couzens and upgrading the information technology system in West Quad.

Alan Levy, director of Housing Public Affairs, said that improvements in the fire system will include upgrading the fire alarm systems in West Quad and Couzens and adding sprinklers in every room in West Quad.

When finished, the improvements to West Quad — which represent a $12 million investment — will exceed current state safety requirements.

“Safety is our paramount concern for our residents,” Levy said.

In addition to renovating to the fire system, Levy said West Quad will receive a significant Internet Protocol network upgrade, and wireless Internet access will be added to most common areas.

Families, graduate students and several undergraduates in Northwood Apartments will also have varied increases depending the model they live in, with units ranging from standard efficiency apartments to three-bedroom apartments.

The 5 percent cost increase is an effort to make rent payments for the apartments on par with similar units on the market and also to keep up with the rising cost of utilities, which are included in the rent.

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