GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — A high demand for housing at North Carolina A&T State University has left some students waiting for a room assignment three weeks away from the start of the semester.
Parents and students have reached out to FOX8 over the past several months about the housing concern.
“It’s been going on the past two years, ever since the pandemic happened,” said Robert Baker, a rising junior. “I’m just like really looking for a good place, so I can focus on my studies.”
Baker, who is from Florida, is holding out for a housing assignment.
“During May when they started pulling all the applications, I think that’s when they…started to drop some people,” he said.
Baker prefers to live on campus. He is waiting for the housing portal to open again this week.
“I just got accepted to some of my transfer schools, so if this housing situation doesn’t work out, I might just move back to Florida,” Baker said.
N.C. A&T spokesman Todd Simmons told FOX8 that every incoming and transfer student will have a bed in university housing by Labor Day, which is more than two weeks after the semester starts.
“We do hear sometimes from students that housing was not available for them, but the numbers indicate that it is,” Simmons said. “As long as students meet their appointments for selecting their housing, get their applications in on time, pay their deposits, all the things that are required to access university housing, they will be taken care of.”
Some upperclassmen on the waiting list may be directed to off-campus housing. The university provides 5,699 beds as of now, and it’s expected to be at full capacity in the fall.
Simmons told FOX8 that 3,274 incoming and transfer students applied for housing this fall. He said 300 students do not have assignments until their orientation is complete, but rooms are available.
“We project we’ll have enough natural attrition that it will resolve our issue entirely,” he said.
There are about 100 students selected for temporary housing at the Drury Inn and Suites on West Gate City Boulevard nearly five miles away from campus. Students will stay in the hotel until the housing assignments are figured out.
“We’re sending her out of state to go live at school, and then the school is then sending her to go live at a hotel where anybody can live,” said a concerned parent, who asked FOX8 not to reveal her identity. “Campus security is not going to be there manning the floors, and you can’t see who’s going to be going in and out of those hotel rooms as you’d be doing dorms.”
The parent told FOX8 her daughter was set to be an Aggie until she found out the housing situation.
Simmons told FOX8 the students will be shuttled to and from campus, and meals will be served in the hotel.
“That will not be a lasting assignment,” Simmons said. “We will find a way to get any student who’s in that situation back on the university campus. In previous years, we’ve been able to do that in the first couple weeks of the term.”
He said hotels have been used for temporary housing for a decade.
“Just be real with us ’cause at the end of the day, we’re students,” Baker said. “We come here for education, and we want to have the best experience possible and like the living situation, too.”
N.C. A&T houses about 50% of the undergraduate student body.
Simmons said enrollment is projected to be 14,000 students by 2023.
Classes for students begin on Aug. 17.