Grand Valley State University has a total of 6,000 beds on campus for incoming freshmen and returning upper-class students, but many students have seen shortages since the selection process for fall 2015 opened on Oct. 20.
Kristen Evans, interim assignments and occupancy manager for GVSU housing, said the housing application process opens the week after Labor Day to give upperclassmen a head start on choosing where to live for the following year. The current process will remain open until March 31.
“We were losing students to off campus,” Evans said. “So, in order to be more competitive with that, we moved our process up.”
Evans said freshmen are guaranteed housing on campus if they apply by May 1. GVSU saves 3,500 to 3,600 beds for freshmen, and from 2,400 to 2,500 beds for upperclassmen. However, the class of 2018 clocked in at 4,226 students. Currently, there are about 3,900 active housing applications and 1,700 returning students have been placed, an increase from last year.
GVSU also saves beds on campus for international students. Evans said housing works with the Padnos International Center and Admissions to accommodate these students and reach the target numbers throughout recruitment. The number of beds saved varies every year.
“Our demand is greater than our supply,” Evans said. “The message about applying for housing early has been successfully distributed among the GVSU community. However, the process is not done. There is approximately a 30 percent cancellation rate, so we are going to accommodate more people.”
In addition to cancellations, more students will be able to live on campus because of modifications to current apartments. For example, many two bedroom, two person units were converted to two bedroom, four person units.
“Living on campus provides a more traditional freshman experience,” Evans said. “Grand Valley does not require freshmen to live on campus, but more than 85 percent choose to.”
Although nothing has been approved officially, Evans said the university is currently discussing adding housing units on and off campus.
She encourages students to let housing know if they will not be living on campus next fall.
“Not only do you get the $150 deposit back, but you also help out another Laker,” she said. “Remember that you need to be registered for classes to maintain a housing assignment for the following year.”
GVSU freshman Nicole Davis is one student who knows how stressful the process can be. Davis said she wanted to live on campus to stay close to her classes during her second year.
“I actually had to have my mom help me find something while I was in class because I couldn’t find anything,” she said. “It was a lot harder than last year because I had to find it for myself and wasn’t just assigned somewhere.”