Out of the 16,660 housing applications filed by students for the 2016-17 school year, only 44 percent of applicants actually live on campus, according to the UT Division of Housing and Food Service.
Ryan Colvin, assistant director of occupancy management for DHFS, said 6,500 to 7,000 of the students who apply for housing don’t get contracts because of how the University admission process works.
“Students can apply for housing before they even apply for admission to the University, so their housing applications are canceled if they aren’t actually admitted to UT,” Colvin said. “Also, some students who file housing applications don’t respond to us or cancel their applications on their own.”
Colvin said last year’s housing application waitlist started around March and closed on May 4, but DHFS reopened their applications in the summer because of numerous students canceling their contracts.
“We don’t really have an exact date for when the waitlist will start, but it typically happens around February or March,” Colvin said. “It depends on if students decide to apply sooner or later in the school year.”
Biology sophomore Marlon Haygood said he was waitlisted when he applied for housing in the summer of his freshman year. Although he got a housing contract two weeks later, Haygood said he was extremely frustrated by the housing contract system.
“I knew I was gambling by not applying until the last minute, but I didn’t realize how much it would mess up my life until I was waitlisted,” Haygood said. “The process is most definitely not a last-minute thing to do.”
Colvin said the housing applications open on Aug. 1 for the 2018-19 school year, and depending on when students apply for housing, contracts are distributed around March. The amount of applications filed in October and December generally determines when the contracts go out, Colvin said.
“Since October and December are deadline months for the UT admissions application, most students fill out our application then too,” Colvin said. “In regards to a guarantee for housing, there is no insurance for getting a contract because it’s all based on the numbers we get and when we get them.”
Chemistry sophomore Thomas Bui said getting a housing contract is always frustrating, but precautions make the process easier.
“I didn’t get my first dorm choice,” Bui said. “But because I applied as early as I could, I never was worried about not getting one at all.”