Cal State Bakersfield students hoping to save some money next year when it comes to on-campus housing are in luck.
The university opened its housing portal for the 2019-2020 school year Monday with notable rate reductions for single, double and triple occupancy room types.
The annual rates for single, double and triple occupancy rooms will be $12,150, $9,000 and $7,650, respectively, according to the CSUB Housing website. The rates do not include a required meal plan, which increased to $4,284 for the school year.
The coming school term will have a 11.05 percent and 8.64 percent decrease in double and triple occupancy room rates, respectively, compared to the current rates, said Jennifer Self, director of public affairs and communications at CSUB.
The current rates for single, double and triple occupancy rooms cost $12,176, $10,118 and $8,374, respectively, without a meal plan, which costs $4,060.
Self said CSUB President Lynnette Zelezny has made students living on campus a priority since she arrived in July 2018.
"Her experience shows that students that live on campus do better in school, graduation rates are higher, they’re overall happier and they add to the atmosphere of campus life," she said.
Currently the occupancy rate of CSUB's on-campus dorms is 64 percent. Self said with the decrease, the university will potentially move closer to its goal of having on-campus housing fully occupied.
She also noted the rate reduction was not affected by the proposed off-campus dorms at Stockdale Highway and Coffee Road.
Students who apply for housing will live in Student Housing East, a 500-bed building that opened in 2015. It houses both underclassmen and upperclassmen.
Student Housing West, the original six-building residence hall community that opened in the 1970s and houses 80 students, will not be in use this coming school year due to maintenance costs and difficulties keeping it up to code.
"It’s not up to our standards," Self explained. "We want our students to live in the best housing we have to offer."
Students on CSUB's campus Wednesday were happy about the lower rates, but many chose to seek other options for the coming school year.
Serbin Cruzada, a freshman nursing major, said he will be living in an apartment next year with three other roommates.
"When I heard about the decrease in rates, I was actually interested and almost reconsidered living in an apartment," he said. "I live in a single so the prices are still too expensive for me."
His monthly rent will be about $300, so he believes living in an apartment "is a better option."
Joselyne Salcedo, a junior criminal justice major, also chose to live in an apartment next year because paying for on-campus housing has put her in debt.
"The money I would get from FAFSA would cover tuition, but I would have to take out more loans to cover housing," she said.
She also does not like having to pay for a meal plan, adding, "the food is not even that great."
Cruzada does think the rate reduction is a step in the right direction for the university.
"I think the housing here has a lot of potential, but the prices are pretty high compared to other colleges, so I think this is a good sign of change," he said.