No Housing Crisis in the Foreseeable Future
Every year, there are a number of students who apply for an on-campus apartment and do not secure one. This year, however, the number is much smaller than last year. Only 909 students applied for apartments this year, compared to 1,081 last year. 88 percent of all applicants this year secured an apartment, while in the last two years, only 76 percent received apartment housing.
For the upcoming fall semester, 85 percent of rising juniors who applied for an apartment got one. Last year, only 61% of juniors who applied for apartments received one. This difference is largely based on the smaller number of rising juniors applying for an apartment this year, as 377 applied this year in contrast to the 497 students that applied last year. One reason for this decrease is the implementation of an Off-Campus Study and Exchange (OCSE) incentive, which is being offered for the fall of 2017.
Last year, the Office of Residential Life realized there was going to be a housing shortage and predicted there would be an insufficient number of beds for incoming students. Ryan Ballantine—Associate Director of Residential Life for Housing and Operations—has said that they do not expect a housing shortfall this fall like they had predicted last year, but “we will probably still need triples.”
“Ultimately between the off-campus incentive and melt, [last year’s housing shortage] worked itself out,” and every student who wanted to live on-campus had a bed. This is very important because Skidmore continues to guarantee housing all four years. Last summer, additional rooms were built in some of the residential halls and this helped to lower the percentage of freshman living in triples. Ballantine does not expect the percentage of freshman living in triples this fall to be as high as years past.
The incentive that was offered after the housing selection officially ended last year will not be offered again. “We will not be doing that [offering the incentive] so don’t wait for housing,” said Cerri Banks, Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs. Ballantine explained how Banks has been clear since she set foot on campus that a housing incentive will not be offered as a solution.
Last year, this housing incentive was also offered to sophomores. This was the first time sophomores were allowed to live off-campus without special exceptions. For the coming school year, sophomores can again live off-campus. “Part of the thought is you allow more students off-campus and you open up more spaces on-campus,” said Ballantine. The off-campus housing application closed April 14, and Residential Life has not yet looked into the numbers of students who have chosen to live off-campus next year. It is currently unknown how many Sophomores have taken advantage of this opportunity. Ballantine noted that “surveys done by [his] office suggest most students want to live on campus” and “we definitely do not want the whole sophomore class to go off-campus.” Considering Princeton Review has ranked Skidmore 7th for “Best College Dorms” in the country, Skidmore students overall should be content with the housing options on campus.
Photo courtesy of Skidmore College