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Dartmouth offers $5,000 to students to live off campus, ease dorm crunch

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 6/15/2021 4:13:56 PM
Modified: 6/16/2021 7:51:46 AM

HANOVER — Dartmouth College is prepared to spend up to $1 million in a one-time lottery to encourage as many as 200 returning students to live off campus next fall in order to ease a housing crunch for dorm rooms, according to an associate dean of residential life.

Students can opt in to have their names included in the lottery, said Mike Wooten, associate dean of residential life, in a Monday email to students who have been placed on the school’s housing waitlist. If selected, they will receive a $5,000 payment in lieu of on-campus housing, he said.

If the college gives out the payments to all 200 students, it will have spent $1 million to reduce the demand for housing on campus, which outstrips supply as hundreds of Dartmouth students who were studying remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic appear eager to return to Hanover.

“As expected, demand has exceeded our capacity,” Wooten wrote. “Although this has been the case in prior years, interest in living on campus has understandably surged following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.”

Dartmouth has company in facing a housing crunch, college spokeswoman Diana Lawrence said.

“The demand for on-campus housing this fall is being felt at many institutions across the country,” she said, pointing to a story about the University of Tampa offering $3,500 per year for undergraduates who defer enrollment until 2022.

Dartmouth is shifting some of its larger doubles to triples and converting lounges to student rooms where possible, but it does not have other options to increase the number of beds available for fall, Wooten said.

Students have until 5 p.m. Monday to decide whether to place their names in the lottery. Those who do will be notified on Wednesday, June 23, about whether they have been selected for the payment and removed from the housing pool.

Wooten said officials “do believe that the college incentive offer may create opportunities to move students from the waitlist to the housing list next week.”

He also acknowledged that “the continued uncertainty about the waitlist is stressful” and urged students who need help to seek support through the college’s health service, Dean’s Office or the Department of Safety and Security.

Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at ndoyleburr@vnews.com or 603-727-3213.




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