How Some Colleges Are Dealing With Dorm Room Shortages

dorm roomMany schools require freshmen to live in on-campus dormitories. These dorms are a great idea because they allow the students to live on campus for relatively cheap, not have to worry about issues with a bad landlord, and provide a sense of community and security.

I lived in the dorms during my freshman year and absolutely loved it. Sure, they were not necessarily fancy, but they had their perks: I did not have to find a parking spot at my crowded campus, my bed was literally 10 minutes away from my first class, it was cheap, and I became great friends with my roommate. When you look at it this way, it is no wonder that many upperclassmen decide they want to continue living in the dorms after they are no longer required to. But what happens if there are not enough dorms for all of the students who want to live there?

At Mercy College, this is a real problem. Approximately 800 students applied to live on-campus this year, but Mercy only has 325 dorm spots available. As a solution, Mercy has leased 180 beds at a Marriott Hotel for student use at no additional charge to the students. (I can’t help but wonder if this includes the maid-service that is typical of Marriott Hotels. If so, sign me up!)

Hotels are not the only creative option for colleges that have run out of dorm space. The State University of New York owns three apartment buildings that it rents to students to help “provide a transition for juniors and seniors and prepare them for real-world living,” according to John Delate, the director of residence life. These apartments are more expensive than the dorm rooms, but they offer more freedom and independence to students as well.

At Iona College, students also can find university-sponsored housing in private homes. Students live with a family who is renting out space for supplemental income. “I got a lot of these listings as the economy got worse last year,” said Michele Sampson, the director of off-campus housing.

These are all creative ways to deal with a very serious problem. Although I would feel strange living in someone else’s home, desperate times call for desperate measures. As the new semester gets closer and closer, some students are still wondering where they are going to live for the next school year, and it’s nice to know colleges are doing their best to accommodate them all.

Via The New York Times








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