Committee recommends approval of 2018-19 room and board rates

February 22, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Housing and Food Services presented a proposal on room and board rates for the upcoming academic year to the Penn State Board of Trustees Committee on Finance and Capital Planning today (Feb. 22). The full board will vote on the proposal Friday (Feb. 23).

If approved, the average room and board rate — which includes a standard double room and the most common meal plan — will be $5,530 per semester, a 2.5 percent increase or $135 over 2017-18 rates. The 2.5 percent increase will be the lowest increase in the last eight years and the second lowest since 2000-01.

Housing and Food Services also is proposing new rate initiatives at several of the Commonwealth Campuses. There will be no increase in on-campus housing rates for students attending the Mont Alto, Hazleton, Greater Allegheny or Beaver campuses. This initiative will be the first step in establishing a more market-driven rate program at the campuses, similar to the tuition rate tier structure.  In partnership with the Office of the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses, Housing and Food Services is also offering housing grants as a pilot program at select campuses.

“Housing and Food Services is proud to participate in these programs to support the University’s commitment to address affordability for our students and encourage student recruitment at the Commonwealth Campuses,” said John Papazoglou, associate vice president for Auxiliary and Business Services.

All current rates specific to various campus living units and meal plan options can be found online at If the board approves the proposed new rates in their meeting on Friday, the site will have the changes posted soon thereafter. The proposed rate increases cover all anticipated cost increases, including changes in payroll, food, supplies, utilities, and services such as refuse collection.

Housing and Food Services is a self-supporting enterprise. Money paid by students and guests for food and lodging are the only funds used for all operating expenses, building loans and interest payments, as well as costs for major maintenance and facility renewal. No state or tuition funds are used for the maintenance of facilities, or for the operations of the housing and dining programs.

Two new facilities will open in fall 2018, representing major progress in the construction and renovation plan to improve residential living for students, said Papazoglou. Martin Hall will open at University Park, adding 415 bed spaces to the East Halls Complex. Trippe Hall will open at Penn State Behrend, adding space for 250 residential students. Renovations to Stuart, McKean and Pennypacker Halls at University Park also will be complete for fall semester.

Overall expenses for Housing, Food Services and Residence Life are expected to increase about $14.3 million over 2017-18 expenses. Housing and Food Services makes every effort to keep operational increases as low as possible so that, when combined with the capital assessment, rates remain affordable to students and their families, according to Papazoglou.

Last Updated February 22, 2018