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Eastern Michigan University is offering students who enroll in fall classes the opportunity to room by themselves on campus at a discount.

The offer, announced Thursday, comes as EMU and other universities are preparing campuses to keep students safe with social distancing and other measures amid COVID-19.

EMU President James Smith said students and parents asked for the option.

"Some students will feel much more comfortable," said Smith. "Many may have been on the edge of whether they would have stayed at home and commuted for a year or whether they will come with the single room availability. I think we will have some folks who will take that single room availability."

Smith said students who want to live with a roommate still can. 

 "We understand a single room may not be for everyone, but we also know and have heard from many who desire such accommodations at this time,” he said.

Costs for a single room in EMU residence halls normally range from $7,230 to $8,300 annually — which is $2,500 more than the cost to live with a roommate.

Under the plan for single rooms next year, students will pay $100 more a month than the cost of a double room, which ranges from $4,730 to $5,800 annually. That means students will pay $800 extra for a single room in 2020-21, saving them $1,700 over what it would typically cost to live without a roommate.

"We can call it the pandemic rate, we can call it the COVID-19 rate," Smith said.

EMU is touting itself as the only public university in Michigan making such an offer for its residence halls, which include more than 3,000 rooms across campus in 10 buildings.

So far, more than 1,000 students have committed to living in the residence halls, EMU spokesman Walter Kraft said.

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