April 8, 2016

Univ. of St. Joseph lowering room and board costs

HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo
University of St. Joseph in West Hartford has announced it is dropping room and board rates for 2016-2017.

Bucking the trend, the University of St. Joseph announced Friday it is dropping the cost of room and board for the 2016-1017 academic year on its West Hartford campus.

The total cost of a double room at the undergraduate women's college will be reduced by 8.8 percent. Meal plans, which include expanded options, will be reduced by 39 percent, 31 percent, or 20 percent depending on the plan.

Other cost savings include the elimination of the amenities fee and an increase to the number of hours students can work in on-campus positions (up to 19 hours).

The university will be raising tuition rates by 2 percent. Total cost for a full-time student for 2016-17 will be $35,220.00, according to the school's website. A double room on campus will now cost anywhere from $6,250 to $8,726 depending where on campus a student chooses to live.

According to the university, this is not a plan to increase on-campus residency because of vacancies. It said the university, the only women's undergraduate college in Connecticut, achieved a record enrollment increase of 42 percent of first-year students in the 2015-2016 academic year.

The increase resulted in the largest class in four years for the institution, and reflects the growing trend of increased enrollment in single-sex colleges across the United States.

"We did not just look for cuts, but looked to reduce costs in a way that would maximize students' ability to succeed," said University of St. Joseph President Rhona Free in a statement. "The decision to reduce the costs of room and board is one example. Studies show that students who live on campus have significantly greater academic success."

Free, who will be formally inaugurated as president on April 15, said encouraging students to live on campus makes them more likely to graduate in four years and have higher GPAs.

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