Residence Life at Manhattanville College announced that the college will implement tiered housing costs in the Fall of 2019.
Benjamin Grant, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life, originally proposed tiered housing costs when he was first appointed the Director of Residence Life in 2012. Every year since Grant’s appointment he has presented tiered housing costs to cabinet members, each presentation focused on ethics, however every year the proposal was rejected.
“My presentation always focused on ethics. Simply that it is not fair that somebody who shares a room with three other people should pay the same amount as somebody who lives alone,” said Grant.
The basis of the new pricing structure is that single rooms will cost more than double rooms; triple rooms will cost less than double rooms and quad rooms will cost less than triples. Spellman Hall will not change the way it charges residence for their rooms, since freshman room selection is random Grant deemed it unethical to differentiate charges based on a random selection process. Graduate housing pricing will also stay the same. Pricing for Founders Hall, Dammann Hall and Tenney Hall per semester, which are subject to change, are as follows: single $4,590, double $4,340, triple $4,240, and quad $4,140.
Anyone who requires a single for a medical reason will pay the standard room rate of a double, $4,340 per semester.
These new figures for triples and quads are roughly seven percent decrease in price of housing. While the singles are roughly a 5.7 percent increase from the standard rate.
The current price per semester is $4,340, this will also be in effect for the 2018-2019 academic year.
“This plan is not to make money, it never was… I don’t feel that we should be putting more money on the backs of students especially with housing,” said Grant.
Since Grant initially proposed the idea in 2012 the college now has a new president and a cabinet with many new members. This year Grant was given the opportunity to present his tiered housing costs to a new set of eyes. The current cabinet approved the tiered housing cost proposal and approved for its implementation in the Fall of 2019.
The initial push back from cabinet members was based on the fact that Manhattanville is based on tradition and one of the housing traditions is that most seniors are granted the opportunity to live in a single. Their concern was that with the proposed tiered housing costs the school would hinder a senior’s ability to live in a single. Another concern from the previous cabinet was that this could create something similar to a ‘caste system’. They did not want to grant special treatment to those who could afford it.
If the college was at 100 percent occupancy housing would generate $4.5 mil- lion per year. The new prices would generate $60,000 more for the college. Manhattanville is currently at 82 percent occupancy, which is higher than previous years due to the decreasing size of incoming freshman- classes.
Grant started the proposal in an effort to keep up with the times in the way other colleges charge for housing. In his research he found that Fordham University, Pace University, Manhattan College, SUNY Purchase, Wagner College, College of Saint Rose, College of Mount Saint Vin- cent and Nyack College all use tiered housing costs.
“I think there is a way to modernize the institution while still honoring tradition. . . Colleges have to keep up with times and colleges that don’t do that find themselves in a lot of trouble,” said Grant.