BLOOMINGTON — The on-campus student apartments at Illinois Wesleyan University won’t open until next fall, but 95 of their 96 spaces are filled.

Karla Carney-Hall, IWU’s vice president of student affairs and dean of students, attributed the response to the newness and the location.

Students also find the option attractive, she said, because the flexibility of off-campus living means no required meal plan, while retaining campus security and university maintenance. The buildings will have live-in managers.

Called “The Gates at Wesleyan,” the $6.5 million project on the southeast edge of campus consists of two, three-story buildings on the north side of Empire Street, between Evans and McLean streets.

Construction is on schedule, Carney-Hall said, noting that all the windows are in.

The apartments are for juniors and seniors. About 500 currently live off campus, according to the university.

Students will pay $3,850 per semester, not including optional meal plans. The apartments are funded by a mix of student room rates and donor contributions.

Each unit will consist of four private rooms with a shared kitchen and living room, and separate shower and toilet areas.

University leaders ventured into apartment-style housing to give students another option, but also see a way to improve student involvement.

When students live more than a mile from campus, they are less likely come back for evening events or student organization meetings, President Dick Wilson said.

“They can be providing leadership on campus,” Wilson said. “We’re hopeful this will have the impact of keeping those students engaged.”

Hand in hand with the apartment project, the university has been working with its food service contractor, Sodexo, to redo the Dugout food court in the Memorial Center, Carney-Hall said.

The university also will institute a five-meals-a week option next fall, which could be attractive to the student apartment dwellers, she said.

In addition to the Dugout food court, the option would be used at Tommy’s Grill in the Hansen Student Center and Bertholf Commons, a traditional cafeteria in the Memorial Center.

Some nearby residents expressed opposition to the project at rezoning hearings in April. The Bloomington Planning Commission recommended approval after the university designated additional parking spaces in a lot at Park and Empire streets for students living in the buildings. The City Council approved the rezoning.

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(6) comments

Interested

So these are over $900/mo per student. Schools and students talk about wanting to make education affordable, yet the school builds fancy apartments and the students fill them up.

Blm_Citizen

It's certainly an upgrade from the accommodations I had in college. Still, if daddy wants to foot the bill it's his money.

Interested

The thing is too many students are borrowing, thinking their liberal arts degree will give them money to pay the loans back. When they find out the best it can get them is a drink maker at Starbucks, they default and the taxpayer is holding the bag.

thoughts a million
thoughts a million

You can't default on student loans. They can't be forgiven, nor be washed away in a bankruptcy.

ct

Actually you can, but it is hard to do in most cases.

Federal Perkins Loans are backed by the University with grants from the Feds. If you don't pay, the school comes after you, but they can't garnish, they just turn it over to debt collectors.

Federal Govt Loans can be defaulted on. If you can file and win a disability claim, the loan will be forgiven, but you have to pay taxes.
Otherwise you will remain in default until death, but you can skirt repayment if you never develop any means. The best the feds can do is take your tax returns, but if you have no return, not much can be done. They can come for your social security, but won't go below a minimum.

There are also numerous forgiveness programs through institutions like Americorp, the US Military, and similar groups in which we the taxpayer pay the bill for little in exchange.

And with the way things are shaping up, more forgiveness programs are coming to appeal to a large block of voters.

notagain

Welcome to America - spoiled generation - I just hope the ship never sinks in this country!

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