Record 2016 Applications May Strain Housing Availability
Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 22:02
Smith College has received another record-breaking number of applications, with 4,321 applicants for the class of 2016 – a 4.67 percent increase over last year's record.
While staff and students celebrate the rich, diverse student population that continues to flourish at Smith College, others are worried about the potential problems arising from an increased student population.
Although this number indicates a continued, high-level of interest in Smith on behalf of young women across the world, others are concerned about the effects the increasingly large number of applicants may have on the Smith experience.
Angeli Ylanan-Argawala '15 is one among many students who worry about the housing shortages that may occur.
"I'm really looking forward to having a single next year," Ylanan-Argalawa said. "But that might not work out because some students in the class of 2015 were put in temporary housing, and I hear there's even more applicants for the upcoming year."
Hannah Durrant, the Assistant Director of Residence Life, said that students do not need to worry.
"There has been a considerable increase in the number of applicants this year, but just because there are more applicants doesn't mean we know who's going to accept us, or if we are going to accept them," Durrant said.
"Additionally, we try really hard to have a set number of students we accept, which we also take into account when considering housing. The Office of Admissions is really good at letting us know where our numbers are," she said. "For now though, we don't know about the expected class size just yet."
Current students worry that with some first-years still in temporary housing, another large group of incoming students could limit housing options. Students' main concerns revolve around the fact that housing shortages may have negative effects on the students who do not receive normal housing.
"It is true that for the class of 2015 we admitted more students than there are beds," Durrant said. "But there are several things we do when things like this occur. To help first-years transition better to the Smith community, we call everyone who was put in temporary housing beforehand to let them know about their situations. Also, early in the summer we work with the Heads of New Students (HONS) to better include these students into the housing environment."
Even though first-year students initially fear that being put in temporary housing may have social drawbacks, Durrant said that this is not always the case.
"I think you could be put in permanent housing and still have a bad experience, or be put in temporary housing and still have a good experience," she said. "Being put in one or the other doesn't necessarily mean you will have a bad or good experience by default."
Some students currently put in temporary housing believe that the experience is the same.
"I doubt that there's any difference at all," Caroline Finn '15 said. "It's not like [we're] deprived of anything. We still have the same experiences."
Staff members in the Office of Admissions did not respond to requests for comment.