Two hundred seventy-one students applied to live off-campus next year, about the same number as last year, according to thedean of women’s office.
Every year men and women apply to live in private houses. The number who are approved depends on the size of the incoming and graduating classes.
“We like to fill up all of the beds on campus before students move off campus,” said Dean of Women Diane Philipp. “Which depends on how many people are leaving and how many are coming in.”
That means that 1,010 beds must be filled before students can live off campus: 425 for men and 585 for women.
The majority of the men who applied for off-campus housing will receive approval, said Associate Dean of Men Jeff Rogers. The exact percentage could be as high as 90 percent but there will be no official numbers until the end of the month, he said.
Staff Assistant for Admissions Margaret Braman said that the admissions department has yet to complete processing regular decision applications, which have just come in.
Acceptance letters will go out to the class of 2016 on April 1, giving the dean’s office an idea of how many students will be coming in to fill the beds that off-campus hopefuls currently occupy.
“We let seniors with 90 credit hours or more know first,” Philipp said. “Some will decide that they want to stay on campus, so we’ll be giving more women approval on a daily basis. Even if you don’t get it in the first round, there’s a good chance you’ll still get approval.”
Both students who currently live off-campus and those who aspire to do so next year cite off-campus community as a major draw for making the move.
“It’s easier to entertain and you can be very intentional about forming these communities,” said sophomore Anika Top, who plans to live off campus next year.
“My current room is big enough for me… and that’s about it. It’ll be nice having a kitchen table, too.”
“There’s a handful of houses that really enjoy bringing younger students to their homes as just another place to hang out,” Philipp said. “It gives them a broader bit of independence.”
“I get this idea of living off campus,” said Rogers, who likened the experience to his living off base while in the Navy.
“It’s like, ‘Hey, I’m doing this myself. I am in charge of my life.’”
“But with that come huge responsibilities and tons of things you have to be cognizant of,” Rogers said.“Like paying rent.”
This introduction to the real world is good preparation for life post-Hillsdale, said Rogers and Philipp.
“It prepares you for what you’re ultimately going to do when you can’t go running back to momma and daddy,” Rogers said.
“Why not start preparing for adulthood now?” Topp said. “I mean, bills? That will be exciting.”
Moving off campus can also foster good relationships with the community at large, as it gives students the opportunity to serve as “good ambassadors” to the greater Hillsdale community, Rogers said.
“I miss the seniors sometimes, though,” Philipp said. “Those who move off campus are lost, a little, to the rest of the on-campus community, though not entirely.”
But it is part of life and part of the college experience, said the deans.
“You can say ‘Hey, we lived out in town in a place called Hillsdale in a far, far, away land and here are our experiences,’” Rogers said. “It’s making memories”
At least it will be for some of this year’s 271 applicants.