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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.”

 

Off-campus appeal

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.”

 

The ben­efits

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.