UM housing crisis deepens as many students fear the worst

Construction of Centennial Village, a new housing option slated to open in the coming years, is pictured above on Jan. 15.

Frustration is growing within the student body after the university’s housing sold out within a few hours early this spring, leaving hundreds of students without guaranteed housing for the upcoming academic year.

Rising sophomores were eligible to apply for housing in both Lakeside Village and Eaton Residential College, but with thousands of students looking to secure housing in either of these on-campus dorms, many ended up with no housing at all.

“The housing process at UM is very difficult and depends on the appointment time you are given,” Trenton Campbell, a freshman majoring in political science and journalism, said. “I was not lucky enough to get housing so I have to be put on a waitlist, with no guarantee if I will get off the waitlist.”

Campbell originally selected to live in Lakeside Village, but is now stuck on a waitlist hoping a room opens up.

The process to select housing began Feb. 5 when the application opened, and undergraduate students seeking housing had six days to fill out the application and submit a $500 deposit.

Upon submitting the deposit, students waited about a week to be given their appointment time to select their housing on Feb. 23.

According to the housing website, students receive their appointment times through random selection by the housing department.

Before appointment times are given, students group themselves into groups of one, two, three or four, depending on the size of the apartment they want. Then, that entire group is assigned a time to select their housing.

Groups of three and four students got the earliest times, but were only able to see housing units that correspond to their group size. Groups of one and two followed being able to see housing units for their size group as well as larger groups willing to accept roommates.

“If you get a late appointment time, you’re probably not getting housing,” Campbell said.

Miguel Blas, another freshman majoring in computer science and mathematics, felt disheartened after the difficulty and competitiveness of the entire process.

“The housing process at UM is very difficult and not promised. With the demands for the Lakeside housing option, it became really competitive,” Blas said. “Many students are forced to get off-campus housing or wait for any chance they might get for an open room.”

Because of this reality, some students aren’t even trying to get on-campus housing.

Betsy Muller, a freshman majoring in finance, is one of those students.

“My friends and I didn’t even try for Lakeside, because we heard it wasn’t worth it,” Muller said. “We decided to get Vox instead and it was really easy.”

Vox is an off-campus apartment complex located in South Miami, about a mile away from campus.

According to the University of Miami’s Housing and Residential Life website, once a student moves off campus, they cannot move back on campus. Therefore, Muller will not be able to apply to live at University Village her junior or senior year, which is usually an option for students in upperclassman standing.

Having issues obtaining housing is not abnormal for students at the University of Miami.

In 2023, The Miami Hurricane covered students who, despite having early appointment times and following all of the guidelines, did not receive housing. They were then forced to sit on a waitlist or find off-campus housing.

The waitlist did end up clearing, but it was because many students dropped off it.

Students rang the same tune in 2022 when hearing horror stories of logging onto the housing portal to find no rooms available was common.

Many even find the whole process confusing. Sebastian Gonzalez is a freshman majoring in public relations who will be living as a resident assistant in Centennial Village next year, but he is still disappointed in the university.

“I just don’t understand how sophomore housing isn’t guaranteed, especially at a school like the University of Miami,” said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez’s confusion is shared by many and it continues year after year.

This housing crisis for rising sophomores is not new for the University of Miami and every year the administration is unable to complete the process without facing a negative reaction from students.

Whether students are sitting on a waitlist or searching for off campus housing, they are dealing with the same issues many students dealt with before them.