Students face housing crunch

Students will experience a change in roles in this year’s housing lottery as GW offers rising sophomores more than enough beds to house all freshmen returning to live on campus and could leave rising juniors and seniors short as many as 150 beds, according to Community Living and Learning estimates.

Upperclassmen could get more options as rooms in Columbia Plaza open. All students in the housing lottery are guaranteed rooms.

Andrew Sonn, director of Housing Services, said 1,440 rising sophomores will choose from 1350 beds, while 1,220 rising juniors and seniors select from 1,070 beds. The numbers are based on students who paid $300 and turned in forms expressing their intent to live on campus next year.

The projections do not include additional spaces in Columbia Plaza for rising juniors and seniors, Sonn said. CLLC will reserve some units in the 23rd Street complex by the time rising juniors and seniors select rooms March 31. These apartments will vary in price, furnishings and move-in dates, Sonn said.

About 244 students will be put on the guaranteed waiting list, Sonn said, based on last year’s number.

Although more students signed up for the lottery than in previous years, Sonn said GW has more housing to offer them this year.

“This year we had a slight increase in housing selection numbers compared to last year’s numbers,” Sonn wrote in an e-mail. “Even with Francis Scott Key Hall being offered to law students, we will have additional beds to offer students at housing selection this year due to the addition of West End units, Columbia Plaza units and 2109 F Street units.”

Sonn said due 100 to 200 additional housing slots, two to three percent more students are entering the housing selection this year.

Sonn also said the addition of Crawford Hall beds to the lottery will ensure every student who wants to live on campus next year will get a bed. Crawford was originally designated as a freshman residence hall. Sonn estimates no more than half the building, or about 70 beds, will be reserved for rising sophomores.

Sonn recommends that students who do not receive housing on the day of the lottery remain on the guaranteed housing list.

“It is important to remember the tight real estate market in D.C. when making a decision about housing,” Sonn said. “Every student who submits an (Intent to Return form) will be guaranteed a housing offer. In many cases in the past, the students on the waiting list will receive a room offer in a popular hall.”

Students on the waiting list will receive housing in the order of their lottery numbers.

All 244 students on last year’s guaranteed waiting list received on-campus housing, Sonn said. Students on the list get spots in Columbia Plaza if they become available to GW, Sonn said.

Sonn said he is excited about this year’s housing selection options.

“This year more than any other year the Community Living and Learning Center has worked with the Residence Hall Association to get students’ feedback on how to make the selection more equitable and efficient for students,” Sonn said.

CLLC approved a RHA proposal earlier this year that amended the housing selection process to give rising sophomores first pick and install provisions to prevent students from using campus housing as a safety net for their off-campus apartment searches.

By allotting residence halls to rising sophomores, juniors and seniors based on class standing, the system will give rising sophomores more housing options while reserving popular upperclassmen halls for rising juniors and seniors, Sonn said.

“The housing selection system has benefited from the partnership of CLLC and RHA to create a fair, efficient and effective system,” Sonn said.

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