By Kristen Pownall

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Students who want to live on campus next year but are waiting to turn in their applications have some tough news to face: no more housing is available.

For the second year in a row, spaces in University of Arizona residence halls were filled much earlier than expected and off-campus housing is going fast, according to Jim Van Arsdel, director of Residence Life.

Residence Life has received over 5,000 applications for student housing, but only 4,250 spaces are available in the 16 campus halls, he said.

Demand for housing is strongly influenced by the size of the freshman class, since about 70 percent of on-campus residents live in residence halls and 70 percent of the freshman class lives in those halls, Van Arsdel said.

The number of freshmen entering this fall is estimated to be about the size of last year's freshman class and perhaps larger, around 4,600, said Richard Kroc, director of the Office of Student Research.

"We're not a residential campus. It's unrealistic to think a university this size can house the entire incoming freshman class," said Ann Wolnick, assistant director for student programs.

Wolnick said she has spoken with incoming freshmen who applied too late to receive UA housing who claim it was not indicated they had to make an immediate choice about housing.

Most were under the impression that most students live in residence halls, when, in fact, 81 percent of UA students live off-campus, Wolnick said.

"I'm afraid we don't market ourselves very clearly," Wolnick said. Residence Life has started sending letters in admissions packets to freshman applicants announcing the lack of housing, Van Arsdel said. The letter refers students to the Center for Off-Campus Students for information about apartments and roommates, Van Arsdel said.

Van Arsdel said it is possible many students will decide against enrolling now at the UA due to the lack of housing. Many incoming freshman say they have to live on campus or choose another university, Van Arsdel said.

As for apartments near campus, the availablity is decreasing rapidly, according to Wolnick.

"I would encourage incoming freshman to attend orientation and find housing then, at least by mid-June," Wolnick said.

The center offers students not living in residence halls the opportunity to participate in events such as Homecoming and Parents Weekend events many students fear they will be left out of if living off-campus.

"We want incoming freshman to know living off-campus is not the end of the world," Wolnick said. Read Next Article