Students, faculty and staff will likely have to pay more to park in VCU parking lots or garages for the 2013-2014 school year, according to an email sent by David Hanson, VCU’s senior vice president for finance and administration.
The cost to park in a VCU lot or garage could increase by an anticipated 8 percent for students and 10 percent for full-time faculty and staff, according to the statement. If approved, the increase would go into effect July 1 and would likely include further increases of about 3 percent per year through 2018 for all parking permit holders.
“The university has worked diligently to outline a combination of approaches to reduce the support needed for parking, including some rate increases, technology enhancements that will allow for reduced staffing and improvements to our facilities to reduce operating costs,” Hanson wrote in the email.
Faculty members who park on campus currently spend between $39 to $80 each month on parking, according to the parking and transportation services website. On-campus student parking ranges from $175 to $310 per semester, although different rates apply for overnight or commuter passes.
In the email, Hanson said VCU has worked to subsidize parking and that there have been efforts to improve parking, but the administration has to focus the university’s resources on academic priorities.
Some students believe the cost of on-campus parking is high enough already. Junior criminal justice major Tim Howell, who decided not to bring his car back to campus because of the current prices, said increasing the prices will do nothing to help with the budget.
“I feel the 8 percent increase in the student parking rates is unnecessary. The prices are already high as is,” Howell said. “I believe it may hurt VCU because other universities do not charge that much for parking in a garage. If (a) student needs their car while staying on campus, they may choose other places to park.”
Other places to park are limited though, said junior psychology major Katherine Higgins.
“With the increased street parking limitations I feel like my options are very limited,” she said. “I can either buy a pass or choose not to have a car on campus.”
In recent months, more restrictive parking regulations have been put into place on popular street parking spots on and near the Monroe Park Campus, such near the Cary Street gym.
“Street parking for me is just unreliable and too time consuming,” Higgins said. “For many students we need to have a car on campus for different reasons and I think that the increase puts students in a difficult position.”
These changes to parking come amid difficult discussions on budgeting which VCU has been struggling with the past few months. Proposals to help ease the university’s budgetary woes currently include a 4 percent increase in tuition and changes in the tuition payment structure to a per-credit structure for the 2013-2014 academic year.
Earlier this month, Gov. Bob McDonnell released a statement asking college presidents and Boards of Visitors at Virginia’s state colleges and universities to limit future tuition increases for Virginia residents.
In the statement, McDonnell said he is “concerned about the affordability of post-secondary education for the young people of Virginia” and will continue to fight against tuition increases for the 2013-2014 school year.
The College of William and Mary’s governing board on Friday approved a 14 percent increase in annual tuition and fees for incoming Virginia students. While prices continue to change across campuses in Virginia, Hanson said the Board of Visitors will discuss the cost of parking and other proposals on May 10.
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