On-campus housing allocation changes

With an increasing number of freshman in the 2022-23 academic year, there will be less available housing for upperclassmen. // Photo by Alex Dube Student Publications

Applications for on-campus student housing for the 2022-23 academic year will open in phases over the course of the next few weeks. For rising second-year students, it will open on Jan. 31. For all other current residents, it will open on Feb. 14. Finally, it will be open to all students starting Feb. 21.

For this upcoming year, however, expected first-year enrollment is much higher than it was in previous years. The Department of Housing and Residence Life has announced its plans to allocate more space than there were in previous years to accommodate first-years, effectively reducing on-campus housing opportunities for upperclassmen. 

In fact, the administration expects that there will not be enough space for the predicted number of current residents who want to stay on-campus for the upcoming year, even if they register on time.

“We anticipate that we’ll have to start the waitlist earlier than we’ve ever had to start it, during this early spring application timeline,” said Kari White, interim associate director for Housing and Residence Life Administration. 

She encouraged students who absolutely need to live on-campus in the upcoming year to apply as soon as their phase opens. 

“If you apply and are not placed on the waitlist, then you will have a place in housing. We’re using the available beds we have … and matching that up with the number of students who apply,” White said. “Once we reach capacity, we turn the waitlist on. It is a first-come, first-serve [system], but what we have done is phased it so that students who meet these certain criteria can apply by certain dates.” 

The biggest group of students that is given primary consideration for on-campus housing is undergraduate first-years. In the upcoming school year, there are expected to be about 3,450 incoming first-years, as compared to the 3,210 who joined at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year. 

This number has been steadily increasing for the past few years. It is especially significant because an average of 96% of incoming first-year students have chosen to live on-campus over the past 10 years (not including the years impacted by COVID-19).

To accommodate the substantial influx of students, traditional halls such as Fulmer Hall, which typically housed a mix of transfer students and first-year students, will be converted to first-year only.

Even as upperclassmen, many students prefer on-campus housing for a variety of reasons. It provides proximity to classes and campus resources, as well as an environment in which it can be easy to meet students and partake in social activities.

Seniors who plan to graduate in December, students who intend to study abroad in the spring and who plan to co-op or intern in the spring are among those for whom on-campus housing is helpful. 

It can be easier to cancel an on-campus lease in the middle of the school year as opposed to an off-campus one. Housing and Residence Life stresses that it is simply the responsibility of those students to apply for housing as soon as they can.

“We don’t know in the springtime who those students are, so it will be up to students who that applies to to get their applications in early,” White said. 

“When we get down to July, and we have space available and our waitlist is cleaned up, then there might be an opportunity, but the message to you all is if that applies to you, you need to apply as soon as your phase opens.”

New transfers, new graduate students, rising second-years and need-based students are some of the other groups of students who are likely to opt for on-campus housing.

“Since we do know who these other students are (need-based, rising second-years, new grad, new transfer and first-year), we’ve already made our process to accommodate [them] as much as we can … We are using the phased approach of the application itself to meet the needs of our primary considerations for students,” White said. 

More information about the timeline for housing applications can be found at housing.gatech.edu.