$500 moving out fee in effect

Katie Hollenkamp

Students who plan to move off-campus for the spring semester will be required to pay a $500 penalty under a policy established by the Department of Housing and Residence Life.

Although instituted last year, this will be the first time students will be affected by the fee.

Under the new policy, when students applied to renew their housing last spring, they signed contracts for the entire academic year. Previously, students contracted for a semester at a time.

The year-long contract and $500 cancellation fee were instituted to discourage students who wanted to live on campus for only the fall semester, said Brian Kuster, director of Housing and Residence Life.

At the same time, the university is permitting sophomores to live off campus, and the $900 non-compliance penalty (for moving off campus during a semester) is waived.

All changes are because of the increase in student enrollment, Kuster said.

“We want to be able to house the students that really want to be on campus,” Kuster said. “If someone is thinking that they are not going to be here all year, then they need to go ahead and find some place off campus to begin with.”

Some students, however, run into problems with off-campus living arrangements.

Louisville sophomore Matt Magers pays for his own tuition and housing, and wants to move off campus in the spring to save money.

An apartment would save Magers almost $400 over one semester, he said, but only if he were not penalized with the $500 housing fee. He was able to get an exemption for the $500 penalty fee after he called the HRL office and wrote President Gary Ransdell.

Kuster explained that under certain circumstances, a student can file for an exemption and avoid paying the $500. Forms are in Potter Hall Room 208.

A fraternity or sorority member who wants to move off campus in the spring will be granted exemptions this school year only, Kuster said.

“We wanted to work with the fraternities and sororities because they are going to need to get on another cycle for housing,” he said.

Fraternities and sororities currently run on a housing cycle that begins in January. Next year, they will move to a housing cycle that begins in August.

Though some students complain they didn’t know about the penalty, Fort Knox junior Anthony Deavers, a resident assistant in Pearce-Ford Tower, faults students who did not find out more about their contracts.

“I think you have to be educated about the situation,” Deavers said. “You have to find out the whole package before you sign anything.”

Kuster emphasized that the new policy was widely advertised by HRL and is not an attempt to make money.

“It’s not about trying to gouge somebody,” Kuster said. “We want to maximize the number of beds we utilize. We want to keep our costs as low as we can for students, and the more students on campus, the lower we can keep our costs.”

Reach Katie Hollenkamp at [email protected]