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Students Guaranteed On-Grounds Housing
New plan relieves pressure to sign leases months in advance of need

April 19, 2004 -- University of Virginia officials today announced a new housing policy to relieve the tremendous pressure on students, especially undergraduates, to sign leases early each fall for off-grounds housing the following fall, long before they understand what other housing options are available to them.

Beginning with the 2004 incoming class, first-year students will be guaranteed University housing for their second year, with the option to renew. Upper-class students currently living in University housing will continue to be allowed to renew the leases on their rooms for subsequent years.

“What we continually hear is that first-year students and parents have raised concerns about being under pressure to find housing,” said Richard A. Kovatch, associate vice president for business operations, who oversees housing.

The new policy, announced today at a meeting of the Board of Visitors’ Student Affairs and Athletics Committee, includes the following:

  • First-year students who want to live in University housing their second year must submit applications to U.Va.’s Housing Division by Nov. 1. Housing will mail them housing contracts by Nov. 5, rather than the following January, as has been the current practice.
  • In subsequent years, if those students want to remain in the same assignments, they would merely need to notify the Housing Division of their intent to renew by Nov. 1.
  • Students who live off-Grounds, or who wish to change their on-Grounds housing assignment, will not be guaranteed University housing, but instead will have to apply for new University housing by Nov. 12. Assignments, made on a space-available basis, will be offered by Nov. 19.

The new policy “should not have an impact” on incoming transfer students, Kovatch said. “We have been able to offer University housing to all transfer students who have applied for housing.”

The University expects to have approximately 6,900 beds available for the 2004-05 school year, Kovatch said. Historically, the occupancy rate is about 98 percent for the fall semester and a little less in the spring, as some students leave the University or take part in study-abroad programs.

U.Va. houses 100 percent of its approximately 3,000-member, first-year class; about 1,500 second-year students; about 900 third-years; and about 700 fourth-years. The remaining University housing inventory is filled by graduate students and their families.

The University plans to build new housing in the near future, Kovatch said, adding that the plan ought to enable the University to more accurately predict the demand.

Contact:Carol Wood, (434) 924-1400

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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