VCU runs out of dorm rooms for the incoming freshman class

Classes at VCU begin Tuesday, Aug. 22.
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 8:16 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - VCU accepted more than 4,500 first-year students this fall semester, and the university ran out of vacant dorm rooms for all students.

One mother of a freshman student told NBC12 that she was notified on Aug. 11 that her room and board deposit would be refunded, and her son would have to find an apartment.

“We have never experienced this,” Adriene Gray Williams, the mother of a VCU freshman, explained.

Williams said this is her third child she’s sending to college, and she wasn’t expecting anything like this to happen.

80 students will have to live in the Graduate Hotel this semester. Williams’ son did not get that option.

“It’s just the inconvenience. Now we have to purchase a bed, a dresser,” she said. “All of those things, pay for electric, wifi in a whole other home.”

VCU gave NBC12 a statement saying, “Coordinating student housing is a blend of art and science on most college campuses. There is no way to precisely predict how many students will enroll and take their on-campus housing assignments until the school year begins.”

This year, VCU has partnered with the Graduate Hotel of Richmond to provide housing for 80 students for the 2023-24 academic year.

The Graduate Hotel is located just off VCU’s campus and provides proximity to the university’s campus, similar to VCU’s on-campus residence halls.

VCU Residential Life and Housing has worked diligently to ensure that first-year students living at the Graduate Hotel will have a similar experience to their peers living in on-campus housing facilities. Resident Assistants will also be housed at the Graduate Hotel to offer the same support and programming provided in VCU on-campus housing facilities.

Students living at the Graduate Hotel will also have access to amenities such as a lounge and a game room. These students will also have access to on-campus housing laundry facilities and participate in the VCU dining plan.

Residential Life and Housing communicated to those in the Graduate Richmond that vacancies may open in on-campus residence halls throughout the academic year. If space becomes available, they may relocate those students from the Graduate to an on-campus residence hall.

As of this week, there are nearly 4,600 students in this year’s freshman class. The class is on track to be among the largest in VCU history.

VCU’s current upper-class waitlist for on-campus housing is at 30 students. All first-year students that completed the necessary steps for on-campus housing have received a housing assignment.

Williams said nearly 140 students are on the room and board waiting list, while VCU confirmed only the upper-class waitlist of 30 students.

She says she has been beyond frustrated. She also said she would probably have to get a second job to afford for her son to live in Richmond.

“They need to get some funding for us. There’s no way they expect us to afford all of this on such short notice,” she said.