As students return to campus, colleges are struggling to house them

Some colleges are having a tough time finding a place for students to live on campus this fall. In a June 23 webinar, Dartmouth College Provost Joseph Helble said that because fewer students are taking a gap year this fall and many of the college’s study abroad programs are unlikely to operate, there was an increased demand for housing on campus. Approximately 200 students were on a waitlist to receive on-campus housing at the small liberal arts school in Hanover, New Hampshire. Dartmouth usually houses 3,000 in its residential communities.

In addition to converting doubles to triples and lounges into rooms, the college allocated up to $1 million — $5,000 each for up to 200 returning students — for those who chose to withdraw their on-campus housing request. Because of the incentive, Helble said 128 students remain on the waitlist. While it’s not a guarantee that everyone will be accommodated, he said the college is “firmly within the range of what we normally see at this time of year.”

Similarly, at the University of Tampa, where living on campus is not required and housing is not guaranteed, there was a surge of demand for on-campus housing. Eric Cardenas, director of public information and publications, says this is in part due to “UT’s successful handling of the pandemic and a universal optimism for a return to normalcy.”

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