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The Flipside of the On-Campus Rent Increase

Could this increase be a good thing?
Jessica Piland

Inflation rates have been on the rise throughout Florida, and as the cost of living continues to surge, institutions like FGCU are facing tough decisions. On Tuesday, Sept. 12, the FGCU Board of Trustees made a unanimous decision to increase on-campus rent by 5% annually for the next four years, starting in the fall of 2024. While some students may find this decision concerning, it is important to understand the rationale and potential benefits.

FGCU has not raised rent prices in a decade, even as maintenance, labor and material costs have doubled over this period. According to the Board of Trustees and stated in the meeting on Sept. 12 where the pay increase was approved, If the university were to maintain stagnant housing prices, it would accumulate a staggering $20 million debt by 2030. The financial burden could jeopardize the quality of student life and the educational experience as a whole.

Although increased rent can place additional financial stress on students, potentially distracting them from their academic focus, the funds generated from this price adjustment will be reinvested into housing operating costs. The money will be channeled back to benefit students’ housing conditions and services.  

“The extra income will go toward maintenance for housing to keep doing what we’ve been doing. We’ll go into the negatives if we don’t increase rent,” sophomore Connor Hay said.

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I don’t pay rent because I live with my parents, but I still pay for expenses such as gas, groceries, car maintenance and personal needs. Juggling these costs alongside a part-time job can be challenging, and the exhaustion that follows my shifts can take a toll on my studies. However, I believe that a quality learning environment and student resources are a good trade-off for a slightly higher rent.

Despite the rent increase, FGCU still has the most affordable housing compared to other state universities. However, lowerclassmen who specifically chose FGCU for its affordability are worried for their next three years of price increases.

“I would say the main concern is for the students who have to pay for housing on their own. They’ll have to pick up more hours at work rather than focus on school,” freshman Delaney Harris said.

Other students, however, don’t see a big deal with the housing increase.

 “The 5% room and board increase isn’t the biggest deal, being that FGCU is still a cheaper option than most universities. I would still attend even knowing that prices will go up,” freshman Joshua Brownman said.  

Since prices are rising at most universities to equalize inflation, senior AJ Sepulveda believes that it was inevitable for FGCU to raise its prices, too.

“It’s happening a lot more across the state of Florida. To match inflation, prices will increase across Florida universities, so you’ll probably run into this wherever you go,” Sepulveda said. 

However, Sepulveda offers encouragement to freshmen that they’ve still made a good choice.

“FGCU is a good environment and close to a lot of things, so you have a lot of job opportunities graduating out of college. Class sizes are perfect, and all my professors have been attentive,” Sepulveda said.

As Florida grapples with inflation, these changes at FGCU are part of a larger effort to secure the future of higher education.

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About the Contributors
Cristina Pop
Cristina Pop, Eagle News Assistant Opinion Editor
Cristina Pop is majoring in journalism. She is a new addition to our team of editors, which has been her dream since she started grading papers with her English teacher in 7th grade and writing for her personal Christian blog. Aside from writing, Cristina enjoys volleyball and sunset swimming at the beach.
Jessica Piland
Jessica Piland, Eagle News Photo Editor
Jessica Piland is a senior majoring in political science and minoring in global studies. She found her passion for photography during her senior year of high school after shooting some film for fun with her grandfather’s camera from the 80s. In addition to her work as photo editor for Eagle News, she works as a staff photographer for FGCU Athletics and is a photography intern with the University Marketing and Communications department. As she enters her third year as photo editor, she is excited for the fun stories, campus events, and breaking news that Eagle News will be covering!

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