More than 300 UNC Charlotte students not guaranteed on-campus housing after applying by deadline, University seeking other options for students

The University says the lack of available housing is due to a decline in cancellations and increased demand.
The University says the lack of available housing is due to a decline in cancellations and increased demand.
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 4:35 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Move-in day for more than 6,000 UNC Charlotte students is nearing, but more than 300 students who applied for on-campus housing still do not have a place to live on campus.

Last week, the University said 440 students who applied for on-campus housing were notified that they would not be getting assigned housing. To put this in perspective, move-in is from Aug. 17-20.

That number is now down to 328, as of July 21.

“As you may already know, the demand for on-campus housing for Fall 2022-Spring 2023 is very high. As a result of the high demand and a lack of cancellations that we typically see by this point in the summer, we anticipate that we will not be able to assign you to a space prior to the start of fall semester,” The Housing and Residence Life Office stated in an email.

Campus officials said the demand for housing is increasing every year, the problem, however, was a decline in cancellations which would’ve provided more space for students waiting on assignments. Cancellations happen on a case-by-case basis.

“Over the last several years we have seen the desire for university housing to grow. The difference this year, while the desire was increasing we saw the decline of people canceling their assignments which is a little unusual,” said UNC Charlotte spokesperson Christy Jackson.

Officials say 8,000 people applied, but not all of them applied by the June 1 deadline. Assignments are made based on when the student applied and what was available at the time of applying.

Students who applied after the June 1 deadline we’re automatically placed on a waitlist.

Destinee Lattimore is a rising junior and lived on campus last year. She applied on the last day, June 1 ahead of the 2021-2022 school year, and was assigned shortly after. This year, she applied on May 20 and was notified in July that she wasn’t assigned.

“That’s when I went into panic mode,” Lattimore said.

Lattimore lives in Lexington, NC, and says commuting is not an option because she doesn’t have her own car and Lexington is close to an hour away from the University, which is why she needs an on-campus assignment.

“I don’t have a car, I can’t live off campus because that’s monthly rent, so how am I going to work and class if I’m staying off campus,” Lattimore shared.

Fizza Ibrahim also applied before the June 1 deadline. She is a rising sophomore and lived on campus during the 2021-2022 school year.

Last week, she got the same email saying she wasn’t guaranteed on-campus housing despite applying on time.

“I was obviously very livid that they took so long to let me know because there are only weeks until the semester starts,” Ibrahim said.

On July 14, the University extended the deadline for students to cancel their housing contracts. Students who cancel their contracts by July 29 will not be penalized and their full deposit will be refunded.

The University is communicating with off-campus partners including student apartment complexes and hotels to accommodate the students, and confirmed to students in an email that such arrangements are being made.

“We are absolutely dedicated to getting those 440 students housed,” Jackson said last week.

“We are committed to housing all students who applied by the priority consideration deadline of June 1. We are working with on and off-campus partners to finalize these accommodations as soon as possible so we can share more information with student residents,” a spokesperson from the University stated.

The school said in an update that all off-campus housing residents will be supported in partnership with property management in accordance with University housing standards including the presence of resident advisors, resident programming, access to supervisory staff and enhanced opportunities to engage in campus life, and that necessary transportation will be provided.

An email from the university to students also stated that students assigned to the off-campus housing will not be charged any more than those who were awarded on-campus residences.

Ibrahim says this isn’t enough time for students to come up with deposits for off-campus housing, nor figure out how they’ll afford monthly rent at an apartment off campus.

Ibrahim lives in Apex, which is more than two hours away. She also can’t commute from home or live off-campus in an apartment because she doesn’t have her own car and is not able to pay the monthly rent.

“If they do happen to put us in off-campus housing, then I hope they would provide public transportation from these apartments and to campus,” Ibrahim said. “That’s a huge thing for a lot of students that don’t have access to cars.”

Lattimore says she’s giving the University another week before she cancels her housing contract and decides to live at home with her family and attend the local community college. A sacrifice she doesn’t want to make, missing out on campus memories and friends, but one she has to make so she has somewhere to live.

“I’m going to go to the community college and take my courses at the community college and have them transfer over since they didn’t have enough housing for me,” Lattimore said.

According to the University’s Housing and Residence Life web page, the following off-campus properties have available units as of July 13:

  • Millennium One
  • The Edge
  • The Mill
  • University Village

The following properties do not have any availability as of July 13:

  • University Crossings
  • University Walk
  • Rush Student Living
  • The Union

Jackson says they will have more updates for applicants no later than next Friday, July 22.

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