During their April 16 meeting, the Auburn University Board of Trustees approved an increase in the campus housing rate and a $30 increase in the student services fee per year. Tuition costs will remain the same.
In 2019, trustees approved a 2% increase in the campus housing rate per semester. In this meeting, they approved another 2% increase to fund future construction and meet rising operational costs due to inflation.
$20 of the $30 increase in student services fees will be used to help fund a new transit fleet, consisting of 10 hybrid buses, 56 fuel-efficient diesel buses and four smaller buses. The smaller buses will be paid for using existing funds, while the rest will cost $28.1 million.
Prior to the pandemic, the University tested several hybrid and electric buses after students requested Transportation Services consider environmentally sustainable options.
The transit fleet will be funded by up to $30 million in revenue bonds, per Kelli Shomaker, chief financial officer for Auburn University.
“The students have asked for this sustainability, and we are delivering with these new buses,” Shomaker said.
The remaining $10 to be added to the student services fee will fund mental health services at the University. Shomaker said the isolation experienced in the past year has placed a strain on Auburn’s “limited mental health resources,” creating a significant waiting period for students seeking help.
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The University will hire at least two more staff members to assist in providing mental health services with the increased funding.
“Mental health is of significance to many of our student leaders,” Shomaker said. “The current Miss Auburn, Caroline Keim, ran on a platform of mental health. We had a lengthy conversation about current student mental health needs, and she is incredibly supportive of this increase and the positive impact it could have on our students.”
The Trustees also unanimously approved revisions to the Board’s bylaws.
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