Costly on campus

Three of Chapman’s dorms were ranked No. 13 on a list of the nation’s most expensive dorms.

Chapman’s prices for room and board are among the most costly in the nation – ranked No. 13 out of 20 universities – with a standard double in Glass and Henley Halls and Sandhu Residence Center averaging $13,510 this year, according to a study conducted by earlier this month.

The cost for these dorms increased by $63 since last year because of Chapman’s expensive California location and the quality of the rooms, said DeAnn Yocum-Gaffney, assistant vice chancellor and associate dean of students.

Sixteen of the universities on Campus Grotto’s list are found in either New York or California, which are infamous for their expensive housing rates. The other four universities lie in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.

“In an area like Orange County, where housing in general is more expensive, campus housing is also going to be a little bit more,” Yocum-Gaffney said. “But we hope that by living on campus, students feel they are getting a quality experience.”

Although the Budget Office initially determines the cost of room and board, Chapman’s Board of Trustees ultimately approves the price, Yocum-Gaffney said. Along with the economic climate, the Budget Office took the quality of amenities provided to students into account when pricing the dorms.

“Chapman includes basic cable, meal plans and private bathrooms in the room and board cost, which some universities don’t,” she said. “At some universities, 100 students share a bathroom.”

The slight increase in the cost will help pay for the improvement made to Internet and cell phone reception as well as the price of construction, maintenance, housekeeping and staffing, Yocum-Gaffney said.

Some students who live on campus aren’t shocked by the price tag or are unhappy with their on-campus accommodations.

“I’m not surprised by the cost, considering Chapman is just expensive itself,” said Erika Aguilar, a freshman living in Henley Hall. “The dorms are not at all shabby, and it’s nice having our own bathroom.”

Other students who have to commute to school were shocked by the high price.

“I didn’t even know [the cost] was that high,” said freshman commuter Christina Machgan. “If I had to live on campus, I would not be able to afford Chapman at all.”

The rate for room and board typically depends on the individual school and what items the housing office provides residents with, said Nan Miller, the director of residential services at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Calif. Loyola Marymount’s price for a standard double room and regular meal plan amounts to approximately $11,000 and has increased steadily over the last few years.

“For our university, we look at the amenities we offer students and ask ourselves if we are providing an adequate amount,” Miller said. “We try to give residents everything they need so they won’t have to look elsewhere, especially in their first year.”

Universities with cheaper room and board than Chapman include New York University in New York City ($13,507), American University in Washington D.C. ($13,430) and UC Santa Barbara ($13,109). The most expensive prices for room and board in the country are at the New School’s Eugene Lange College in New York City ($17,110) and UC Berkeley ($15,308).

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