More students applied to live in Nittany Apartments than the on-campus living option can house -- and now, the university is asking contract holders if they'd be willing to live across town in White Course Apartments.
As of Monday, contracts to live in Nittany Apartments, which houses more than 1,000 upperclassmen, had been accepted by 80 too many students -- meaning that an additional 20 apartments are needed to house the overflow.
Director of Ancillary Services Jennifer Garvin said Housing and Food Services has e-mailed Nittany Apartment contract holders to see if they would be willing to relocate to the four-bedroom, four-person units in White Course Apartments, located on West Campus Drive.
University spokeswoman Lisa Powers said the White Course units have been opened to undergraduates in past overflow situations, though the area traditionally houses graduate students and students with families.
The White Course apartments, like Nittany Apartments units, come furnished and include washers and dryers and a parking pass. At $3,185 per semester, rates for White Course apartments are the same as four-bedroom Nittany Apartments townhouses.
Garvin said the quiet environment and additional amenities might appeal to some students.
The e-mail asks contract holders to consider moving into a White Course apartment for the 2010-2011 school year by themselves or with roommates. But, Garvin said, the students who relocate to White Course Apartments are not likely to remain there beyond 2011, as they would receive Nittany Apartment contracts for the 2011-2012 school year.
Some White Course Apartments residents said they can foresee a possible cultural divide between the undergraduate and graduate students -- the family-oriented community may not be for everyone.
Meijen Liao lives in a White Course apartment and is the mother of two young children -- ages three and five. While she is OK with students living in the complex, she said she'd be concerned about their influence on the area, perhaps in the form of increased smoking and noise.
Adrian Maler (graduate-mathematics) said he wouldn't mind undergraduates living next to him, but he thinks they would prefer other residences.
"I lived on campus as an undergraduate," Maler said. "It's more entertaining for everybody. If you just want to study, [White Course Apartments] is a good place to be because it's very quiet."
Garvin said Housing and Food Services will find rooms for the extra students, and they are not currently pursuing any other options for the overflow.
The number of freshmen that will live on campus in the fall will not be available until May 1, but could affect the space allocated to upperclassman in on-campus dorms, Powers said.
For the 2009-2010 school year, University Park housed about 14,100 students on-campus, and 6,900 of those were freshmen, who are guaranteed on-campus housing, Powers said.
In addition to an overabundance of Nittany Apartments contract offers, Powers said, the waitlist for on-campus housing is long and the university is not offering many contracts at this time.
Powers did offer some advice to students on the waitlist.
"By no means should they wait," she said. "They should be looking for a house."