An overcrowded UGA offers $1,000 to area freshmen to live at home, $3,500 for older students to go off-campus

UGA released its freshmen profile; this class brings higher average ACT scores and more advanced coursework.
(UGA Photo)

Facing a critical fall dorm shortage after more freshmen chose to enroll at the University of Georgia this year, the popular Athens campus is attempting to entice local area teens to live at home. UGA is offering them $1,000 to give up their dorm rooms.

“The increase is due in part to the rising popularity of the University of Georgia among prospective students,” said UGA spokesman Gregory Trevor. “University housing has offered a $1,000 incentive for incoming first-year students from Clarke and contiguous counties to waive the university’s requirement that they live on campus their first year.”

That is not the only deal. UGA is offering a $3,500 housing discount fee for non-first-year students who agree to live in Brown Hall, which is on the Health Science Campus off Prince Avenue and about two miles from the main campus. Non-first-year students willing to forgo their on-campus housing contracts and live off campus will get $3,500 cash, said Trevor.

Both the $1,000 and the $3,500 incentives are being offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Board of Regents spokesman told me UGA is the only public campus facing oversubscribed housing and offering cash to entice kids to live elsewhere.

The growing demand for UGA underscores the long-held contention that Georgia needs another liberal arts college of its caliber and appeal.  Former Chancellor Erroll B. Davis hoped it would be Georgia College in Milledgeville. Is that happening? I know several kids going there, some happily, a few not so as their first choice was UGA.

I love Georgia College for its smallness. As a parent taking my twins to see colleges, Georgia College was my favorite tour. I feel like students would not get as lost there as they might at UGA. But both my kids like the energy and excitement of big campuses, which explains one at UGA and one at Georgia Tech.

If my freshman were eligible, I would advise against taking the $1,000 and staying at home. Commuting to college is not easy, having done it in grad school. Plus, research shows that undergraduate students living in dorms earn higher grades.

However, if I had an older child at UGA, I would tell them to grab the $3,500 deal. They are old enough to go off campus and that amount would cover a lot of rent.

Some parents discovered the housing crunch while at UGA this week for orientation. During a tour of an apartment dorm in UGA’s East Campus Village, parents and students learned the single bedrooms they expected would now house two students with the addition of bunk beds. Two-person apartments are being expanded to four students.

Parents will see a slight decrease in their housing tab from what UGA describes as “expanded” rooms. For example, a two-bedroom apartment in Vandiver Hall drops from $3707 for two students per semester to $3466 for four students, a discount of $241, said Trevor.

During one tour, parents were told the freshmen class was larger than expected by about a thousand students, but Trevor said, “Although final enrollment numbers will not be available until the beginning of the fall semester, the increase in the number of enrolled first-year students will be nowhere close to 1,000 – in fact, it will be less than half that figure. ”

UGA students are reporting that resident advisers — commonly called RAs — are being assigned roommates in oversubscribed dorms, something rarely done in the past. However, Trevor said, “When RAs sign their agreement, the agreement states that there is a possibility that RAs might have roommates.”

Housing options also narrowed this year with the closing of Russell Hall for renovation. The high-rise on Baxter Street housed 970 freshmen in double-occupancy rooms. With a total undergraduate enrollment of 27,500 students, UGA welcomed 5,475 first-year students last year.

Like many colleges, UGA requires first-year students to live on campus, although it has allowed exemptions in the past for students living with parents in nearby Clarke, Barrow, Jackson, Madison, Oglethorpe and Oconee. However, those exemptions did not come with cash incentives.

 

 

Reader Comments 0

49 comments
An American Patriot
An American Patriot

Welcome to the "real world" and learn to live in it.  One to two, two to four.  You've got it made and maybe one day you'll realize it.  When I was seventeen, I lived in an Army Tent at Ft. Jackson, SC with eleven others that I absolutely did not know, in the very hottest part of summer, no bathroom, no air conditioning and we had to keep it neat and be neat ourselves.  Maybe if you'd do that for eight weeks, you'd gain an appreciation for what you've been given.  If you feel like you've got to gripe about your living conditions, you're not mature enough to go to college.  Join the Army, Navy, Marines or the Air Force.  They will mature you enough so that you may go back to school with a different attitude and maybe gain an appreciation for our Armed Forces who protect our Country every single day from harm without griping.  "Happy Fourth of July Everyone", have a great celebration.



gapeach101
gapeach101

I am going to complain  once again about the facebookers.  Besides their comments being worthless(for the most part) we are now getting those lovely  spam emails about making many $$$$ without working.   Do the editors truly believe this adds to the blog?                                                                  

Starik
Starik

@gapeach101 I don't understand it. We all subscribe to AJC in order to get access while facebookers pay nothing at all. They post their nonsense, but we can't reply tp them.

gapeach101
gapeach101

I agree with your conclusion  as to who should accept the funds, but disagree with your rationale about freshman. Freshman should live in dorms to meet other people.  I suppose if they join a fraternity/sorority that may address the issue.  Also, I have heard  with bathrooms in suites, there is not a lot of mingling (which is unfortunate).

When I attended the GT orientation there was an incredible difference in dropout rates for on campus/ off campus freshman.

As for upperclassman, I would be nervous looking for housing at this late date, BUT, I was amazed at the number of "for rent" signs I saw when moving my  UGA student into private housing for her junior year.  

Yes, we are a house divided.

Starik
Starik

@gapeach101 I never really thought about bathrooms as a social center. Do they have dorms with open toilets or with stalls? One big shower? I guess that's a way to really get to know your neighbors.

gapeach101
gapeach101

@Starik @gapeach101 I can only address the women's room.  In mine, they had stalls and small lockers to keep toiletries and towels.  Sinks were in an open area.   Showers were stall-like as well.  Mostly it was a place to run into other people who lived on your floor, start a conversation, especially as a freshman. 

As I'm thinking about it, the biggest deterrent to socializing in the dorms  at UGA is the fire door on every dorm room.  They are so heavy they can not be propped open when you are just sitting around.   My daughter had to use her small refrigerator to keep it open.  Not an easy solution.  

Falcaints
Falcaints

My daughter attends Georgia College, and she loves it. She likes the smaller vibe and my wife and I love the campus.

Laurie Waters Camp
Laurie Waters Camp

Are they going to offer campus parking for the students who live with their parents?

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

I see UGA hired the guy from United Airlines.   On the bright side, at least UGA is not dragging students beaten and bloody from the dorms -- yet.

Maybe it is time to have a discussion about ending the arcane requirement to have eighteen year old young ADULTS living in on-campus housing.

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

@Lee_CPA2 I found out that the original email offer to upperclassmen was $2,500 and was just raised to $3,500. So, apparently, they need more kids to take this offer.

Janet Frick
Janet Frick

I'm a faculty member at uga and some of us have been discussing this since your posts. Thanks for your coverage. A few thoughts ... First, I don't think this is uncommon... many of my fb friends from many states, of various ages, report fall semester temporary housing due to temporary overcrowding. 25 years ago my husband had to live in a study hall for a few weeks until he got a permanent room assignment. This was in Missouri. Enrollments can fluctuate and it usually evens out. But another new variable is apparently that more and more college students are accepting multiple offers from multiple universities, then deciding later where they plan to attend. This seems to be a new development and something that the admission models are having a hard time predicting. I would be curious if the same situations are happening at other universities across the state. Thanks for your reporting.

AJC  Get Schooled
AJC Get Schooled

The Regents spokesman checked and told me this is only the case at UGA. I am wondering about other flagships, and plan to check next week.

gapeach101
gapeach101

This may be the first facebook post that added anything to the discussion.

Charlotte Manning Harrell
Charlotte Manning Harrell

AJC Get Schooled A few years after GA College made living on campus mandatory for freshman, they ended up having them live in a local motel. They have built more dorms, but they really are not on campus.

weetamoe
weetamoe

UGA could just raise the standards--for example, be sure prospective students understand that a singular subject requires a singular pronoun.   A student is not a "they" or "them."

Tabby017
Tabby017

Ok but how do we get offered the $3500?

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

@Tabby017 Are you signed up for campus housing? If so, I would call and see if your UGA housing is eligible. You would be giving up your room to get the cash.

Baracus Wynn
Baracus Wynn

They aren't that overcrowded anymore..Georgia Stat e beat them in enrollment. 60k

jarvis1975
jarvis1975

Georgia State is a commuter school. You might as well be comparing the enrollment of all metro area high school seniors.

BuckheadnotBetty
BuckheadnotBetty

also, isn't there a dorm closed this year due to construction?

Nichelle Young
Nichelle Young

Wouldn't it have been better to just not admit so many students?

AJC  Get Schooled
AJC Get Schooled

I think colleges do end up in tight spots when their estimates prove far off the mark. When my oldest went to Emory, she was housed in a dorm that had been scheduled for demolition and remodeling. Emory had to delay that plan for a year as it had 80 more freshmen than it expected and needed to put them somewhere.

Nichelle Young
Nichelle Young

You can't have more students than rooms if you don't admit them to begin with

Robert Butera
Robert Butera

Admissions is a game of estimating yields based on past history. The offers come out on a given day, and schools don't want to hold back, since a delayed offer is more likely to say no. Every few years the yield is higher than expected. GT had this problem a few years ago and temporarily converted some dorm lounges into rooms. (I used to direct a graduate program at GT and faced similar issues of estimating how many offers to make)

Lauren Ruehman
Lauren Ruehman

The $3,500 is an excellent deal. I lived in River Mill townhomes while at UGA which is even closer to more buildings than the dorms are and three times the size. That would cover more than 6 mo rent! \U0001f44d

alt.AJC
alt.AJC

Readers of this column will remember being sternly warned that passing campus carry legislation would drive away parents and students.

But enrollments are actually up?

Astropig
Astropig

@alt.AJC


Perfectly legitimate question that will never receive an answer.


You won't get an answer a year from now either.Then,you'll be asking why we haven't seen wholesale slaughter on campus as a result of CC.



JKToole
JKToole

@Astropig @alt.AJC Trolls (who likely have never set foot on a campus of higher education) gotta be trolling.

alt.AJC
alt.AJC

@JKToole

We could have guessed both things without you admitting them.  

AngieSS
AngieSS

So glad my student is enrolled at Georgia College (Milledgeville) for the fall. And he had his class schedule from his advisor via email before he even graduated from high school. Our first choice school.

Falcaints
Falcaints

He will love it, great school.

Tange English
Tange English

I am a high school teacher and some of our kids are attending.

AJC  Get Schooled
AJC Get Schooled

Tange English Not sure which plan you mean. I think the $3,500 for the upperclassmen is actually a great deal since most older students live off campus. However, I think freshmen who want to live on campus should and don't think a thousand dollars, although a lot of money, compensates for living at home. If you should live on your college campus any year, first is the ideal.

Robin J Richards
Robin J Richards

Given that the number of students from Clarke and the surrounding districts (Madison, Jackson/Jefferson/Commerce, Oconee and Oglethorpe) is a low percentage of the incoming class (and John Knox you can confirm that if you like) will this even make a dent?

John Knox
John Knox

Fall freshmen enrollments from Clarke and Oconee County are probably no more than 200, I am guesstimating. But don't quote me, the Fact Book is an undercount, I am told, even for the fall (and definitely for the spring).

Lisa Smith Hall
Lisa Smith Hall

So, who allowed "too many" to be accepted for the fall semester?

1Fred
1Fred

Just because UGA accepts them, doesn't mean the student will attend.  Admissions offices try to balance admissions against enrollments.  Sometimes factors outside their control mean that they either had too many or too few actual enrollments.  It happens.