Board committee recommends approval of 2019-20 room and board rates

February 21, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Under a proposal approved today (Feb. 21) by the Penn State Board of Trustees Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning, the average room and board rate for the 2019-20 academic year would increase by 2.64 percent, or $146 per semester, compared to 2018-19. 

The full board will vote on the proposal at its meeting on Feb. 22.

If approved, the 2.64 percent increase would be the second lowest in the last nine years, following last year’s 2.5 percent increase. Under the proposal, the average room and board rate, which includes a standard double room and the most common (mid-level) meal plan, would be $5,676 per semester.

“Penn State Housing and Food Services is committed to providing a quality living and dining experience for our students, while also adhering to the University’s overall priority to minimize increases to student expenses,” said John Papazoglou, associate vice president for Auxiliary and Business Services. 

Papazoglou said the proposed room and board rates for the upcoming academic year cover all anticipated increases, including changes in food costs; payroll; utilities; maintenance, supplies and services; and the operation of the Residence Life program, while also continuing the major renewal of facilities under Housing and Food Services’ capital plan. 

The capital plan includes renovations at University Park to all residence halls in the East and Pollock housing areas. By fall 2019, six halls will have been completely renovated and three new halls have been constructed. At Penn State Harrisburg, additional housing capacity was acquired through the purchase of Nittany Village Apartments, to support the campus’s strategic enrollment growth plan.

Housing and Food Services is a self-supporting enterprise. As such, money paid by students and guests for food and lodging are the only funds available to pay for operating expenses. No state funds or tuition dollars are used for construction, maintenance of facilities, or the operations of the housing and dining programs. 

University residence halls and apartments accommodate approximately 20,400 students at the Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Behrend, Berks, Brandywine, Greater Allegheny, Harrisburg, Hazleton, Mont Alto, and University Park campuses. Housing rates specific to each campus and various living units can be found online at All rates for 2019-20 will be published soon after the board’s vote on Feb. 22.

Last Updated February 21, 2019