CSU is experiencing a surge in 2022-23 enrollment, including an anticipated record number of first-year students, creating an unprecedented demand for rooms in the residence halls and University apartments.

Because living on campus is such an important factor contributing to the overall success of students academically and socially, University Housing is making sure all who are required to live on campus have guaranteed housing.

CSU requires that all newly admitted first-year and transfer students with fewer than 15 post-high school credits, who are single, under age 21, and not living with their parents in the Fort Collins area, live in the University residence halls for their first two consecutive semesters.

To accommodate all of those students, some applicants are being placed in temporary housing. As soon as possible (typically within the first few weeks of the semester), those students will be prioritized for reassignment to a permanent space for the remainder of the 2022-23 academic year as it becomes available.

High demand, low supply

The incredibly high demand for housing this year results from several factors: Pent-up demand following the pandemic, unusually low “melt rate” (the percentage of students who decide not to attend CSU after accepting), and an increase in the number of admitted students. On the supply side, Westfall Hall will be completely closed Oct. 1 for scheduled renovations.

University Housing staff has been looking for creative solutions to add more beds to the mix:

  • Available areas such as lounges and show rooms in residence halls have been converted to living spaces.
  • Vacant beds that were being held for Residential Learning Communities are now open for general assignments.
  • Students within a 40-mile radius of campus have been notified that they can be exempted from the housing requirement if they choose to live at home, expanded from 30 miles last year.

Finding rooms off campus

To fill in the remaining gaps, CSU has booked the entire Best Western University Inn just across College Avenue from campus for overflow housing. No other guests will be staying in the hotel while the students are living there.

“We know that some students will not find temporary housing to be an ideal situation,” said Nick Sweeton, interim director of University Housing. “We hope to mitigate the uneasiness that may come with a temporary assignment by being clear and transparent in our communication; making extra efforts to build community among students in temporary housing; and offering moving assistance when they are assigned a permanent space, among other strategies.”

The site is fully staffed by Best Western’s team in addition to a live-in CSU resident adviser. CSU Police will visit the floors in the Best Western, as they periodically visit the residence halls.

Silver linings

There are benefits to living in temporary housing. “Some students who lived in temporary accommodations in the past have expressed that they liked forming two groups of friends – one group from their initial temporary housing and one group from their permanent assignment,” Sweeton said.

In addition to the social aspects, students assigned to the Best Western will have the added benefits of frequent room cleaning and linen changes, private baths, cable TV, micro-fridges, air conditioning, and an additional $150 in RamCash. They will also be charged for the least expensive room type in the residence halls while in temporary housing.

The ultimate goal is for incoming students to feel welcome and part of the CSU community, while getting all the temporarily assigned students into permanent housing as quickly as possible.