Q: What are my private housing options?

More than 7,000 students will be making the big jump from high school to the University this fall. Roughly 75 percent of those 7,000 students will have chosen to live in University Residence Halls.

The remaining 25 percent will have chosen to live in Private Certified Housing, according to Kirsten Ruby, assistant director of housing for marketing.

“Private Certified Housing offers different amenities than the University Residence Halls and vice versa,” Ruby said. “It really depends on what the student is looking for.”

Eating in any dinning hall is another option for students living in University Residence Halls.

“University Residence Halls let you eat in any University dining halls,” Ruby said. “With the Private Certified Housing, it depends on the contract.”

Ben Werner, sophomore in LAS lived in Illini Tower, 409 E. Chalmers St., this past year, a Private Certified Housing residence.

Illini Tower, or IT as it known among residents and students, mainly houses four people in a suite, as opposed to most University residence halls which tend to house two people in one room.

“Living with four people is better than two,” Werner said. “You have more of a camraderie with a different group of people.”

Another positive to living in Illini Tower is the location, Werner said.

“I could just wake up and go to class 10 minutes before it started,” Werner said. “If I had lived in Six-Pack, I would have had to wake up 25 minutes earlier.”

A final distinction between private and University residences is the pricing.

According to the University housing Web site, depending on the meal plan, the prices for a double in a University Residence Hall in 2009-2010 can range from $8,700 to $9,596.

For the University residence halls, the more comprehensive the meal plan, the more expensive the rate is.

Rates tend to be much different for private certified housing residences. According to the private certified housing Web site, freshman who will be living in Illini Tower this coming year will be paying anywhere from $10,847 to $11,900.

These rates are affected by how many meals the student receives as well as the timing of the payments.

Students who pay their bill annually pay less at Illini Tower than the students who pay semi-annually or monthly.