Boston University announced new meal plans and residence rates for the 2023-2024 academic school year — the cost of both is increasing for students.
Rates increased for every type of residence, both traditional and apartment style, with students paying $11,600 for a double, triple or quad room — up nearly $400 from this school year. Costs for comparable meal plans, such as the current 14+ plan and new 10+ plan, are also increasing by nearly $400 a semester.
The popular student “hack” to get more dining points in the Spring semester by switching from the 330-to 250-plan will no longer work. The University was aware of this, according to the BU Dining Services website, so every meal plan will have more dining points than previous options.
Students can also upgrade for more points.
“Economics 101 will say, as inflation increases, costs invariably do as well,” BU spokesperson Colin Riley said. “All the things that relate to what goes into housing, like maintenance, salaries and benefits … there’s all costs associated with that.”
Students living in dormitory-style residences on campus are now required to choose either the Open Access+, Open Access, Weekly 10 or Kosher meal plans, replacing the previous options: Unlimited, 14+, 330, 250 and Kosher plans.
New options for students in BU apartments are the Campus Connector 50, Campus Connector 50+ and the Campus Connecter 75+ — all more expensive than the previous Apartment 500 and 1,000 plans.
Some students say they are upset with the increased price of meal plans.
“The point of being able to choose a meal plan is that I’m able to pick if I want to have 14 meals a week or if I want to have five, and the new plan doesn’t allow for that,” Samia Bruster, a freshman in the Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, said. “I’m paying $400 more dollars for a plan that I do not want.”
Divya Jayvas, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, prefers the meal plans for 2022-2023 more than the upcoming options. One reason is that the Open Access + meal plan option provides the same number of meals as the Open Access plan but is $195 more expensive for an extra 200 dining points.
Additionally, Jayvas said having only one other option which is not unlimited meals — excluding the Kosher Plan — is an “issue.”
“In November I actually got a stomach bug from eating the food in the dining hall [and] ended up in the hospital,” Jayvas said. “I do everything in my power to not touch the food in the dining hall.”
Jayvas, a resident of Warren Towers, said there are many issues with the facility, including laundry machines flooding floors, problems with elevator doors and falling ceiling tiles.
“I feel like living here is a main reason why I have hated my first year in this school,” Jayvas said, “Because I’m not happy with where I am right now.”
Ching-to Albert Ma, a BU economics professor, said it is natural for the University to adjust meal plans and residence prices with inflation.
Students should also consider the University’s “portfolio of benefits,” Ma said, such as internet and other facilities — it can’t be based entirely on dining and residence rates.
“When a student goes off campus the student is not subject to many facilities available at Boston University,” Ma said. “These are things that any student would have to sort of consider when they make decisions about moving or not.”
The COVID-19 pandemic and stimulus packages have contributed to the country’s inflation, Ma said, but things are looking up for the economy.
“Those are the common elements that have been attributed to the current inflation,” Ma said. “But it doesn’t seem like it’s going to continue very long. There is some evidence that it’s not very strong anymore.”