Enrollment Is Up, and Campus Housing Is in Demand

Posted: August 18, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Helen Ackerman

George Mason is a popular place to be this year. More than 11,000 new and undergraduate students applied for admission, and 2,200 freshmen and 2,000 transfers plan to enroll, making this the largest freshman class in at least the past five years. SAT scores are also up, with a 15-point increase in the SAT average over last year.

Many of these students are eager to live on campus, and George Mason is doing its best to accommodate them. The university has received a total of 3,038 applications for 2,926 beds, according to Paul Barkett, director of Housing and Residence Life. Barkett attributes the increased demand to three factors: the quality of classes, an active interest in George Mason University, and the desire to live on campus.

It’s important to provide housing for as many students as possible, says Larry Czarda, vice president for operations. “Northern Virginia is an expensive rental market, so we are working to provide beds for the largest number of students.”

Efforts made to accommodate students include expanding room capacities in Presidents Park to house three students instead of two and offering students the option of temporary off-campus housing. Special furniture has been purchased to adapt the rooms, and extra data ports have been added. The housing staff also continues to make accommodations for special-needs students a priority. This summer, George Mason is entering the design phase for additional housing, which will provide 500 more beds. It is scheduled to be complete in the fall of 2003.

George Mason is not alone in adding beds and offering temporary housing. A number of schools across the state are experiencing a back-to-school crunch. Both James Madison and Virginia Tech anticipate that some students will be in double and triple rooms, or housed temporarily off campus.

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