The student news site of University of Wisconsin-Platteville.


The student news site of University of Wisconsin-Platteville.


The student news site of University of Wisconsin-Platteville.


Opinion: Cost of Living at UWP

Requirements, fees and independence at what cost?
Pickard hall is one of the traditional halls at UW-Platteville. It was built in 1969 and had no mention of renvoation. Pickard Hall houses around 275 students. Each room is double occupancy, with approximately 60 people per floor, all students on each floor share a community bathroom and one kitchen.

University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents created a policy over 50 years ago that requires all first and second-year students to live on campus. However, costs of living on campus are unaffordable compared to living off campus.
According to the UW-Platteville website, there are more than 2,800 students living in the residence halls. The campus has 11 residence halls including seven traditional halls, two semi-suite halls, one suite style hall and one Living Learning Community in a separate building located on Pioneer Farm.
The price per person, per semester is as follows: Traditional Halls (McGregor, Morrow, Pickard and Wilgus Halls) are $2,240; Renewed Traditional Halls (Melcher and Porter Halls) are $2,475; Elevated Traditional Hall (Dobson Hall) is $2,530; Rountree Commons is $3,144; Bridgeway Commons is $3,155; Southwest hall is $3,200.
Also mentioned on Residence Life’s page is the prediction of these room rates to increase by 2-3% next academic year.
The traditional style dorm, which costs $2,240, is the lowest price one student can pay per semester to live on campus. With payment beginning on the first day of school and ending on the last day of finals, there are approximately four months (16 weeks) between these dates.
The monthly cost to be in a traditional style dorm is $560. Also required in most cases with traditional style dorms, is a roommate that also pays $560 a month. In total, each traditional style room costs $1,120 per month, per semester.
Three out of the four traditional halls (Morrow, Pickard and Wilgus Halls) house approximately 60 students per floor (four floors per hall), with the exception of McGregor Hall as there is one student per room. Each floor shares a community bathroom and kitchen and no access to air conditioning.
The only air conditioning that can be provided is if a student has a perscribed medical condition that requires them to have it. Though residence hall staff removes the air conditioning unit around Oct. 15 and replaces it approximately on April 1, with fees included.
This downfall can be seen when students on a budget are forced into a non-air-conditioned environment. 2023 was recorded to be the hottest summer to ever by NASA, and students were moving into the dorms towards the end of August.
The traditional halls have not gone through any renovation that has been noted by Residence Life on their website.
Melcher and Porter Hall were the only halls to mention any type of renovation (although what was renovated was not stated) and are being advertised as renewed, which is reflected in the rise in price per semester.
“Residence Life strives to improve and update areas of residence halls to ensure a comfortable and safe living environment,” as stated by the Residence Life page. McGregor, Morrow, Pickard and Wilgus Halls were built in the 1960s and had never seen change.
According to, as of Oct. 2023, the average one-bedroom apartment at Platteville is $659 and the average two-bedroom apartment is $1,300. Which considering the above prices, is manageable if students wanted their own bathroom, room and air conditioning.
Though this cost may rise due to amenities such as furniture, as that may not be guaranteed when students sign for an apartment. Furniture such as a bed, bookcase, dresser and a shared mini refrigerator are included in all rooms on-campus, excluding Southwest and Rountree which both have shared full sized refrigerators.
There also is the potential for the added cost of utilities that may not be included in rent.
Included in the cost of living on campus at UW-Platteville is the purchase of a meal plan as a freshman and sophomore. There are four meal plan levels, a common one for students is the level two plan.
The level two plan gives students $1,040 in dining dollars to use on any food on-campus, but with an overhead fee of $670. With a total of $1,710 per semester, the monthly cost to eat on campus is $427.50. If the student does not use all their dining dollars, UW-Platteville does not refund the student and they are not able to have the money roll over to the school new year.
The Education Data Initiative states, on average, Wisconsin college students spend $260 a month when they cook meals at home.
Added together, the cost of living at UW-Platteville in a traditional hall with a level two meal plan is $987.50 per month or $3,950 per semester.
The residency requirement, set by the UW System Board of Regents, adopted this plan in 1972. The only way students can avoid the living requirement is if they live with parents less than 40 miles away, have veteran status, have been graduated from high school for two years, have children or are married.
The argument for the positives associated to living on campus are that students are able to live in a community and not have to worry about internet, furniture, utilities, etc. Though this true to an extent, students are not getting their money’s worth when living on campus when they can have a better and cheaper experience off-campus.
If students want to pay extra for living on campus, they are no longer living in comfort, but rather paying for the college experience that is not a “home away from home.”

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