Students Scramble for Last-Minute Housing
WRITTEN BY: ZURI HOFFMAN
Although procrastination is an issue that impacts many of us college students, some things you just simply can’t put off – and finding housing is one of them.
After spending the last few months searching for roommates of my own, I realized my time was running out. While my peers were talking about their promised living arrangements, I hadn’t even started looking for mine. When I finally got my roommate arrangements situated we were just missing one thing – a place. As the roommate count dwindled from 4 to 3 to 2, things got extremely tough. Through a realtor, we were able to go on house tours, just to get a phone call the next morning that somebody else leased it. It had to be through luck that two girls backed out of their lease for a 2-bedroom apartment which was very convenient for us. However, many last minute students don’t get as lucky as I did and are also forced to deal with the struggle to find housing.
With the end of spring semester right around the corner, most Temple students are in the process of preparing for finals, summer classes, the fall semester as well as finding housing for the upcoming academic year. With most university residence halls already filled for the fall, and nearly 13,000 Temple students living off-campus and only 5,500 students on campus, these last minute students’ best bet is to find off-campus living arrangements.
Whether you prefer using a private realtor, or Temple’s resources, either way finding housing can be challenging for students who wait until the last minute since options are limited. Speaking to the Associate Director of University Housing and Residential Life, Sean P. Killion he suggests students to simply not put themselves in these predicaments.
“We encourage students to not put themselves in a situation where they are looking for last minute housing because obviously things get tight,” Killion said. “With housing there is a limited commodity of what’s available. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. So, students who wait until the last minute find themselves in a situation where they are scrambling and it’s not a lot of options and that is unfortunate for people.”
According to the university’s off-campus services website, it suggests students take into consideration: location, budget, availability, Internet resources and networking when looking for off-campus living. However, the longer students wait, the harder it is to find places that accommodate all of their wants and needs and the more competitive finding the perfect place becomes.
“Whether you are a new student or a returning student we encourage students to be knowledgeable about the process and pay their deposit as early as possible so they can get early access to the process,” Killion explained. “That’s one of the most important parts of our process since it is a first come first serve basis system. So, the earlier you go through the more options you’re going to have. We’re kind of at the mercy of whatever we have available.
“So, unfortunately students don’t really like that answer, but I think that’s one of the things we have to impress upon people. We certainly encourage people to call us and reach out to us as they’re making those decisions and we can let them know where we’re at with our inventory,” Killion stated. “Some years it’s more available than other years so it’s always best for people to reach out.”
On the subject of working strictly through Temple or finding a separate realtor, Killion said, “We have an off-campus living office, so we recommend that students at least check in with them to find the properties that we would recommend. There are several realtors in the area, some are reputable, some are not so they can help navigate students through that process.”
The university’s off-campus service website also has a list of local apartments the university is affiliated with, as well as a bunch of other information to help guide procrastinating students like myself through the process. You can also visit their office located on the third floor of 1910 Liacouras Walk for more information and guidance through the process.