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Iowa State University battles housing shortage

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 11:20 a.m. CDT

AMES (AP) — Iowa State University was forced to turn away more than 200 applications for on-campus living due to a housing shortage.

Nearly 12,500 students signed up to live on campus this fall. University officials are now planning to build a 700-bed residence hall to address the record number of housing applications.

On-campus housing is guaranteed to freshmen and transfer students. Pete Englin, director of the department of residence, said returning students who missed the three-month window to renew housing contracts were denied.

More than 400 students will temporarily live in makeshift dorm rooms set up in the common spaces of residence halls. Englin said those students will likely be relocated by the second semester, when there should be open space in the residence halls.

The university also leased space in several apartment buildings to house over 1,000 students.

“Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, those living in residence halls have higher GPAs, they have built-in friends who share a common experience,” Englin said.

Englin said it’s up to the Board of Regents to approve the proposed 700-bed residence hall. It’s expected to cost around $50 million.

Officials said an increase in enrollment is responsible for the housing dilemma. About 33,250 students enrolled at Iowa State University last year.

The University of Northern Iowa has the opposite problem. Officials said the enrollment is down so there’s housing aplenty.

Residence halls at the University of Iowa are expected to be at capacity this fall. Some students will be assigned to temporary rooms like those at Iowa State University.

The University of Iowa is in the process of building one new residence hall and plans to discuss the addition of another on-campus housing option. More than 31,000 students attended the school in Iowa City last year.

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