Jan. 11, 2016
Memorial University has approved new residence fees to take effect in September 2016. Fees will increase by between $320 and $680 per semester based on the type of room or apartment.
The increase in residence fees is necessary to make up a shortfall in the university’s operating grant from the province in the 2015 provincial budget. A portion of this operating grant reduction, $1.9 million, was based on an assessment of residence rates which ranged between 18 per cent to 40 per cent lower than average Atlantic Canadian university residence rates.
In July Memorial’s Board of Regents adopted the principle that student residence rates should be set at a level that will fully fund operational costs. The board approved the increase at its December meeting.
Memorial has since completed an analysis of costs and revenues for residences at the St. John’s and Grenfell campuses. The study indicates that, in order to fully fund operational costs, residence rates would have to increase by $2.184 million at the St. John’s campus and $0.281 million at the Grenfell Campus for a total of $2.465 million.
In order to reduce the impact of a rate increase on students, and understanding the risk that such an increase could have on occupancy rates, the 2016-17 residence rates were set to recover only the $1.9 million that was removed from the university budget.
Residence fees for the winter 2016 semester will not change. The new fees will be in effect for the fall 2016 semester. Depending on the type of residence room or apartment, rate increases range from approximately $320 to $680 per semester (see chart for details).
“Memorial is committed to minimizing the impact of budgetary measures on students, employees, university programs and operations,” said Dr. Noreen Golfman, provost and vice-president (academic). “The increased residence rates will allow the university to better fund operational costs for residence while continuing to provide students with a competitively priced, high-quality residence experience.”
Grenfell Campus currently recovers a higher portion of costs and has a lower cost structure, mainly due to a lower budget for building operating costs and student life salaries. The newer condition and apartment-style of most of the residences at Grenfell Campus result in lower operating costs.
Grenfell Campus rates are set to recover the $0.281 million to full cost and the remaining $1.619 million will be allocated to the St. John’s campus.
The average Canadian residence rate ranges from $2,356-$3,227 for individual beds (excludes family apartments) per semester. Memorial’s new residence rates are, on average, between 16 per cent to 38 per cent below the Canadian rates. The fall semester runs September-December and the winter semester runs January-April.