UC housing crisis needs to be fixed


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As the UC system continues to push for increased enrollment, students struggle due to increasingly limited housing on campus.

The unique experience of moving into a new dorm is a monumental moment for any college student.
Unfortunately, numerous incoming UC students have struggled with limited housing options because of poor communication, planning and overbooked on-campus housing.
Affordable housing has been an ongoing issue for UC schools that has never seemed to be properly resolved. According to a report from California’s Legislative Analyst Office, 16 percent of UC students in 2020 resorted to living in hotels, transitional housing, and outdoor areas because they did not have access to permanent housing.
Although the UC system offered an additional 20,000 beds to students at their 10 campuses since the 2016 school year, 7,500 students still remained on waitlists for campus housing in the fall of 2021, the Legislative Analyst Office reported.
In short, past efforts to provide more housing after recognizing this severe issue failed under the poor management of the UC housing system. A large factor is the increasing number of students admitted to UC schools each year.
Within the past five years, UC schools admitted 30,000 additional students, increasing enrollment to a record 294,662 students in the fall of 2021.
This shows the UC system’s careless push toward enrollment growth.
At this point, it seems almost impossible for the UC system to not recognize the pattern of the student enrollment in comparison to the lack of housing. But these figures show little regard for students’ well-being.
The overall cost of housing at UC schools is another hurdle for incoming students. The estimated cost of housing and meals alone for the 2023-24 school year is $18,700 on campus and $15,000 off campus according to UC Admissions.
There are many solutions for UC Admissions to consider to resolve this housing crisis. First, admitting fewer students will significantly decrease the housing needed for the universities to provide. While this may make the admissions process more selective, the well-being of students must be taken into consideration over the growth of the student population.
Second, decreasing the cost of housing will allow students to have access to more affordable housing, which can greatly improve the hunt for homes during the transition to college.
Students planning on attending UC schools next year will experience the same problems from the actions of UC administrators if drastic changes do not occur.