PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — Colleges and universities across Virginia are welcoming more students as enrollment increases each year. This leaves some schools finding new ways to house students on campus.
According to Virginia State University, they welcomed one their largest first-time freshman classes in recent memory. Similarly, Virginia Commonwealth University welcomed its largest class recently in 2018.
Both universities tackled the issue of keeping up with student housing. A statement from Virginia Commonwealth University said:
“As housing vacancies open up due to cancellations, VCU is actively working to make assignments to those spaces. VCU currently has a small wait list of upper-class students but the university has been reaching out to those students on the waitlist to confirm who is still interested in on-campus housing. VCU is also encouraging students on the wait list to work with the Dean of Students Office to explore off-campus housing services for additional resources.”
Virginia State University is collaborating with Richard Bland College and other off-campus housing options for students. Currently, 95 VSU students are housed at Richard Bland’s Freedom and Commerce dorm halls.
“When they reached out, we really looked at our numbers — what can we do, what can we make available and realized at the time we could do it,” Richard Bland College’s Scott Newton said. He continued, “We were able to offer many different services on campus — student activities, meal plans, resources to our library. All those things, [it is like] they are almost like they are a student at Richard Bland in a way.”
In addition to housing at Richard Bland’s two housing dorms, Freedom and Commerce halls, students at VSU who met the July 15 housing application deadline were guaranteed housing in either the University Apartments at Ettrick (UAE) or temporary housing at an area hotel.
VSU said in a statement:
“The cost of on-campus housing will be sufficient to cover the RBC residence hall and the hotel option. Students who completed an on-campus housing application, but were referred to UAE will receive a $1500 stipend on their student account to off-set the $350 in administrative fee and $1150 for additional UAE charges. Therefore, there is no additional expenses incurred for students who met the deadline to apply to live on campus, but were assigned to live in the off-campus spaces.”
Free shuttle services are provided to VSU students who live on Richard Bland’s campus. The services will be offered to students seven days a week, and students who choose to drive to campus have been offered a free on-campus parking pass for the academic year.
VSU students will also have access to both VSU and RBC meal plans.
There is currently a waitlist of about 14 students who did not make the housing application deadline. VSU is currently working to provide housing to those students.
“I would’ve preferred to be on VSU’s campus but I understand. There are so many kids there but I can adjust, I am used to adjusting,” said Emmanuel McMullian, senior at VSU.