FAU Board of Trustees recommends increasing fees, housing rates, and daycare rates

Christopher Massana

The Florida Atlantic University Board of Trustees (BOT) — the university’s thirteen highest ranking officials — voted today on several measures that would make the school more money — at some students’ expense.

The BOT approved three measures to raise prices in specific areas of FAU:

The first proposal, to increase tuition for students in the College of Medicine and the Capital Improvement Trust Fund, a fee that funds student-related facilities only.

The first part of this proposal is a $2.00 increase per credit hour due to the Capital Improvement fee, which was authorized by the Florida State Legislature, and could raise the fee (per credit hour) from $6.76 to $8.76. A student taking 12 credits would pay $24 more than last year.

The second increase is a three percent rise in base tuition for College of Medicine students, which could rise from $25,725 to $26,497 per year for in-state students, and from $31,500 to $32,445 for out-of-state students.

This increase was based on a recommendation from the Liaison Community of Medical Education, the organization that is responsible for the reaccreditation of the College of Medicine. “The LCME, in our quest for accreditation, recommended the three percent,” said Senior Vice President of Financial Affairs Dennis Crudele.

Student Body President Robert Huffman, who is the sole student on the thirteen member board, voted to support the fee increase at his last BOT meeting today.

“At first I was indifferent, because any time we have to increase fees, it sucks, frankly,” said Huffman. “But this fee does go directly back to students, this fee pays for the renovation and expansion of our Student Union, as well as our Breezeway, as well as putting lights on Jupiter’s rec field. So I met with my fellow governors and our vice president to discuss it, and we feel that this increase could give us more money to expand our Union, which we really need.”

The next proposal recommended increasing housing rates for resident students.

According to the proposal, “Housing operates as an auxiliary operation at FAU and must maintain a positive cash flow and meet minimum debt service coverage ratio.” As such, the Department of Housing is raising rent for dorms on both the Boca and Jupiter campuses.

The new rates will produce $498,000 in additional income for the Housing Department, according to the proposal.

Some dorm rates could stay the same, such as the double rooms in Heritage Park Towers (HPT), Glades Park Towers (GPT), Indian River Towers (IRT), and the under construction, unnamed Boca dorm.

Resident students in these dorms could experience the following hikes:

Algonquin (five percent raise)

Innovations Village Apartments (which vary from two to five percent depending on the size of the dorm)

University Village Apartments (which also varies from three to five percent)

Jupiter Residence Halls (three percent)

The final proposal approved today recommended increasing the price of daily care services offered at the Karen A. Slattery Educational Research Center for Child Development, by $15 per month for all ages.

The daycare rate changes could take effect Aug. 1, 2013. According to the proposal, the new revenue from the child care services could be used to improve campus security, install a school-wide intercom system, enhanced video security features, and upgrade some windows on campus to impact glass.

While the fee increase becomes official if the Florida Board of Governors approves it on June 18, the other proposals could take effect if the BOT approves them at their May 7 meeting.

[Dylan Bouscher contributed to the reporting of this story.]