Did you know that at Marist College you are no guaranteed housing as a junior or a senior? According to the Marist Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 90% of upperclassmen that apply for housing are accommodated. But what happens to the other 10% of students?
This year, students who did not get on campus housing were put on a wait list and will be contacted in July with a final decision. Unfortunately for those who do not qualify for on-campus housing, July is a bit late to start looking for an apartment that would need to be ready to move into in September. Not to mention parts of Poughkeepsie are not the safest places on the planet.
When looking for an apartment, students need to consider proximity to campus, cost, and the safety of the neighborhood. By April most houses and apartments on safe streets close to campus have already been spoken for so those students on the wait list are often forced to find housing outside of Poughkeepsie.
Housing at Marist is based on priority points. Students receive point through their GPA, campus involvement, and disciplinary record. Therefore students “earn” their housing. However, there are huge gaps in the logic behind this system. Housing is based on group points, therefore no matter how well one does as an individual their points are averaged with the students they will be living with.
“I had 31 points last year and I got Marian,” said sophomore Tracy Dalton. “Tell me how that happens? I got Lower New for next year. I’m moving off campus senior year, no way am I dealing with this again.”
Another glitch in the housing system is the fact that once a student lives off campus they cannot move back on campus. Therefore students who’s points are too low to receive on campus housing can not even try to redeem themselves the following year.
This year over 10,000 students applied to the undergraduate program at Marist. Of those 10,000 about 35% were accepted. “Approximately 3,000 students were admitted,” said Meghan Donoghue, an Admissions Counselor at Marist College. “We hope to retain about 950 for next year’s freshman class.”
According to the office of Housing and Residential Life, the three main freshman dorms can only accommodate 920 students. Therefore if more than the anticipated 950 students decide to attend Marist next fall upper classman will have to pay for the school’s poor planning.
Freshman will take priority because they are guaranteed housing, therefore upper classman that did not get housing and are on the waiting list will be forced to move off campus. This year, there was a serious shortage of housing for male upper classmen.
“My group filled the last male house left in Lower New,” said sophomore Andrew Ludington. “We had 29 priority points, and we almost didn’t get housing, that’s crazy.”
Though moving off campus does not necessarily cost more than paying room and board, it is extremely inconvenient for students without cars and students who had not anticipated finding off campus housing. With no shuttle and most decent off campus housing located at least a mile from campus, Marist College needs to consider student’s convenience and safety when it comes to housing.
“We heard guys houses had closed out in Fulton and Upper West the first day so we attempted to look at [off campus] houses,” said Ludington. “The few apartments that were left were steps away from the Poughkeepsie projects. Thank God I got some kind of housing because my parents were not about to let me live in that neighborhood.”