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FAMU offering off-campus housing incentives to free up dorm space for incoming freshmen

FAMU Officials Housing Press Conference 2.jpg
Valerie Crowder
/
WFSU News
Florida A & M University President Larry Robinson (right) and university officials announced the off-campus housing assistance and free meal plan incentive during a press conference on Friday, July 15, 2022 a couple days after the university announced it had run out of on-campus housing for the fall semester.

Florida A&M University is working to accommodate more incoming freshmen who want to live on-campus after the university ran out of housing last month.

“They get a much better start and get more engaged – and overall academic performance improves – as a result of being on campus that first year,” said FAMU President Larry Robinson during a press conference on Friday.

Campus housing officials began noticing that the units were close to filling up in late June. The university has attributed the rise in demand for on-campus housing to an increase in freshmen enrollment and a jump in the number of students transferring to the university this year.

The university has seen a 32% increase in applicants compared to last year. The number of incoming freshmen applying to the university went up by 45% and the number of transfer students went up by 51%. Most of the transfer students were applying from institutions outside of Florida, Robinson said.

“That sort of gives you a picture for the magnitude of students who are trying to get to this great institution,” Robinson said. “What defines FAMU more than anything else is the care, compassion and love that we have for each and every student who attends this university.”

To create more on-campus housing space for students starting their first year at FAMU, the university is offering off-campus housing and food subsidies amounting to $1,079 per month to students on the waitlist and upperclassmen who’ve already been assigned on-campus housing.

All 506 incoming freshman on the waitlist for on-campus housing are eligible for $2,000 per semester for rent and a subsidized on-campus Gold 400 meal plan valued at $5,716 for the academic year.

The first 200 AA transfer students and transfers with fewer than 60 hours on the housing waitlist are also eligible for the off-campus housing and food assistance.

The first 400 upperclassmen to give up their on-campus housing assignments by Friday, July 22 at 5 p.m. will also receive the rent and food subsidies.

Students interested in receiving the off-campus housing and food subsidy should immediately contact the Office of University Housing by email at famuhousing@famu.edu.

“The university really hopes and sincerely hopes that enough upperclassmen will accept this offer and thus create vacancies for the first-time-in-college students who can move on campus,” said William Hudson, FAMU’s vice president of student affairs.

Students put on a waitlist weren’t required to pay a deposit, but housing officials stopped adding people to the waitlist after realizing its units were fully booked. All students who have secured housing have paid their deposit or had their deposits waived, according to the university.

University officials say they’re planning to add new campus residential space in the future to accommodate the increase in enrollment. Housing officials say at least 4,000 on-campus residential units are needed to meet the demand. Right now, the university has 2,450 beds.

Students will move into on-campus housing between Aug. 15 - 20.

Valerie Crowder hosts and produces state and local newscasts during All Things Considered. Her reporting on local government and politics has received state and regional award recognition. She has also contributed stories to NPR newscasts.