Over Enrollment – Housing Effects

Thane Tehsenfeld '13 in his open quad lounge.  East, "Room" 371

Thane Tehsenfeld ’13 in his open quad lounge. East, Room 371

Last year, the College over enrolled by 40 students. This year, we’ve over enrolled by 98. ResEd has been scrambling to house the 98 additional students, resulting in the reduction of super singles and super quads, the acquisition of 3 village houses, and the placement of students in program houses and temporarily in converted lounges.

The College had estimated around 2,800 students would attend this fall, though the actual number is much closer to 2,900. While this signifies an increased retention rate among returning students and a higher yield by accepted students, both good signs for the College, this has put ResEd in a difficult position.

To create more beds, ResEd has made immediate changes. In South and East, every lounge without a kitchen has been converted into student rooms. “Our goal is to move people back into their regular occupancy spaces or out of lounges as quickly as we can, while making sure that first year students can stay together if they’ve bonded,” said Dean of ResEd Molly Tyson. “We’ve already been able to start moving students out of temporary spaces and started rearranging students before they even get here based on people who are calling and telling us that they’re not coming or canceling or transferring.”

ResEd has tried to do its best to communicate with students who were getting relocated, consolidated and placed in temporary housing. “One of the things that I think we did a much better job of than last year is communicating with students ahead of time,” said Tyson. The emails explained the over enrollment issue and expressed regret that the student did not receive their top choice of housing.

In the emails, ResEd promised those housed in lounges that they will have the top priority in relocation. They informed the students that had been consolidated that they had been placed with compatible roommates based on the student housing questionnaire. Those placed in program houses were encouraged to take part in the house’s program to see it as an educational opportunity. All students were informed about the room change policy and are encouraged to apply as soon as possible if they so desire.

Due to the housing situation, ResEd is unsure if all students seeking a room change will receive one before the spring semester.