TCU’s bursting student population has left housing officials scrambling to find room assignments for more than 2,446 first-year students.
This fall’s undergraduate enrollment increased by 5.3% to 10,222, numbers that are a “testimony to TCU’s academic reputation and the unrivaled student experience,” said Chancellor Victor J. Boschini regarding the university’s largest class of first-year students.
The burgeoning first-year population pushed sophomores, who are required to live on campus, out of what was once considered sophomore housing, and left most juniors and seniors seeking off-campus options.
In addition to traditional first-year housing, such as Foster and Colby Halls, the class of 2025 now dominate the Campus Commons, which was meant for sophomores, said Allen.
The creation of triples and conversion of lounges were part of the effort to make space.
First-year nursing major Addie Riley said her only housing option was a triple in Colby Hall, though she expected to be in a double room with her selected roommate.
“It all worked out because the other girl was easy-going...I am not sure how I would feel if she wasn’t,” said Riley.
Sophomores are spread out among Worth Hills, Tom Brown-Pete Wright and master lease apartments, which were designed with juniors and seniors in mind.
This year, Allen said just over 560 juniors and seniors, including transfers, are living on campus.
“In the past, we have had as many as 800 or 900,” he said. “We were probably approaching 1,000 juniors and seniors that lived on campus, say maybe five years ago, but that number has gotten smaller and smaller and smaller as first-year classes have gotten larger and larger."
Allen said TCU worked to accommodate older students by assigning them to locations such as GrandMarc, Village East and the new addition of Liberty Lofts. Housing has master leases with these properties and was essential to making fall housing work.
“Every year for the last number of years, we've had juniors and seniors who want to be on campus that we just don't have space for,” said Craig Allen, the director of housing and residence life.
“We are now at a point where we're going to make some decisions about stopping or slowing growth,” said Allen.
Those are big decisions that will likely be made this fall, but even if the board of trustees opted to build more housing, it would be another two years before more beds are available, Allen said.