Residential colleges face housing shortages for class of 2024
With the class of 2025’s historically large class size and the numerous current sophomores who took gap years, many colleges report having shortages of housing going into the housing draw for members of the class of 2024.
With a total of 1,789 students, the class of 2025’s historic size is exacerbating existing housing shortages, especially for rising juniors in the class of 2024.
Due to the disproportionately large first-year class, residential colleges are reporting potential housing shortages, which may force students who wish to live on campus to find off-campus alternatives. The particularities of the housing draw process vary across residential colleges. Per Yale College policy, students are guaranteed housing on-campus for their first two years at Yale — and these students are also not permitted to move off-campus unless they are 21 years or older, married or first matriculated more than two years prior. Seniors and juniors, however, are not required to remain on campus and are also not necessarily guaranteed to have an on-campus option. Students are required to declare their intent to live either on or off campus by March 18, and each college will run its own draw process in late March and early April.
Last spring, the University decided that students in the class of 2025 in Branford, Davenport, Morse and Saybrook colleges would live in their residential colleges during their first year, rather than on Old Campus, as per tradition. Students from these four colleges in the class of 2024 are instead living on Old Campus this year. Next year, however, the University is reverting back to its typical housing arrangement. First-years — the class of 2026 — in these colleges will live on Old Campus during the 2022-23 academic year, and sophomores — the class of 2025 — will live again in their residential colleges.
Dean of Yale College Marvin Chun told the News that next year’s sophomore housing — for the class of 2025, or current first-years — “should be okay” because the class ahead of them — 2024 — is so large. In the current sophomore class, which totals 1,759 students, 568 students were originally members of the class of 2023 and took gap years during the pandemic. Chun said that rising seniors — the class of 2023 — will also not face housing problems because seniors get top priority in housing. However, Chun said housing “may get tighter” for juniors.
Branford College, for example, is setting aside enough beds to fit the entire rising sophomore class. Rising seniors and juniors will draw from the unreserved rooms, with seniors going first and then juniors claiming the remaining rooms. All classes will go through a lottery-based system, in which each group of suitemates will receive a designated random time slot in which they can select their room. Those who receive later timeslots and are thus unable to secure housing within their residential college — members of the rising junior class — will first be pushed into annex housing on-campus, in places such as on Old Campus, or may be forced to seek accomodations off-campus. The Branford draw process will primarily transpire over the week after spring break.
Sheikh Nahiyan ’24, a member of the Morse Housing Committee, told the News that the same premise applies to Morse College: If students are not able to secure on-campus housing during the draw, they will be annexed to other residential colleges or may need to move off-campus. Nahiyan added that he spoke with the Dean of Morse College’s Assistant, Mary-Ann Bergstrom, who told him that students will only be annexed under “extenuating circumstances,” so most students unable to secure a room during the draw will need to find off-campus housing. Bergstrom did not respond to a request for comment.
Chun told the News that the University is working to organize and clarify the options for annex housing, and that the college deans are working to provide students with information for their respective colleges.
“We’re working right now to try to maximize the annex housing and those kinds of options that are around campus,” Chun said. “Some students may need to be annexed … which is the case every year and was the case even this year. I think what helps with annexing is just making things as predictable as possible for students so they can make the right choices about whether they want to do annexing or whether they want to move off campus. I think what students need is good information.”
While Nahiyan is unsure exactly how many students in Morse will be forced off campus, he estimated that this figure could be around 30 to 40 students. He, along with Dean of Student Affairs Melanie Boyd, added that after March 18 — which is when students must declare their intent to live on or off campus — the housing committees will have a better sense of the severity of the anticipated housing shortage.
Chun similarly noted that once the number of seniors planning to live on campus is determined, the colleges will be able to calculate the number of juniors who can stay on campus.
Chun explained that there are “no global plans” to require any members of the class of 2025 — rising sophomores — to be annexed next year. Still, in light of the high number of students in the class of 2024 who are likely to be annexed or forced off campus, Chun emphasized the importance of strengthening the ties between the class of 2024 and their residential college communities.
“I think we have to keep thinking about ways to make [the class of 2024] feel full and connected with the residential colleges,” Chun told the News.
According to Nahiyan, the 568 students originally admitted to the class of 2023 who took gap years, and are now in the class of 2024, can choose between entering the senior or junior housing draw.
Entering the senior draw would extend priority in securing on-campus housing, if they so choose, for the next academic year. This, however, would be “under the full understanding” that they will be unable to enter the senior draw for the following year, and would have to enter the junior draw or live off campus.
Members of the Pauli Murray Housing Committee Camden Rider ’23, Jennifer Yakubov ’24 and Grayson Phillips ’25 explained this policy in an email to Murray students on March 13.
“If you matriculated in the Fall of 2019 (i.e. you are a 2023, 2023.5 or a 2023+1), you will be defaulted into the senior draw,” the trio wrote in their email. “Similarly, if you matriculated in the Fall of 2020 (i.e. you are a 2024, 2024.5 or a 2024+1), you will be defaulted into the junior draw.”
In the email, students were told that if students want to switch out of their default draw, they need to research out to Dean of Pauli Murray College Alexander Rosas.
Yale’s first residential colleges were opened in 1933.