Record admissions fuel housing concerns among UCSD students

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SAN DIEGO – A housing battle is brewing on the campus of UC San Diego.

The school reported Monday it admitted a record of nearly 53,000 first-year and transfer undergraduate students for the fall 2021 quarter out of some 140,000 applications. It represents the most transfer students admitted among all the University of California campuses and it comes amid a 11% jump systemwide in freshman UC admissions compared to 2020.

But if getting into college is challenging, students at UCSD are finding that locating housing near campus might be even tougher.

“I’m going to crash in my friend’s living room if nothing else pops up,” said Josh Lariosa, a fourth-year student at UCSD.

Lariosa said that typically incoming freshmen and transfer students get priority for on-campus housing, creating a hurdle for others outside that group in a year of record admissions. The university’s dormitories filled up so quickly, in fact, that a waiting list has been established.

More than 3,100 students are on a waitlist for campus housing, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported, among those nearly 1,900 graduate students. The other 1,267, nearly all of whom are sophomores, are on a separate list. All of the university’s 17,536 beds have been claimed, the U-T reported, leaving thousands of students to find other housing arrangements.

Needless to say, upperclassmen like Lariosa are forced to look off campus and he’s far from alone.

“Yeah, I’ve watched it and the prices just keep going up,” a second-year transfer student told FOX 5.

She said she was guaranteed a room last year and thought she was guaranteed another this year but was told she lost her spot because she stayed home for part of the pandemic.

“This year, it’s kind of confusing,” she said. “In fact, I’m pretty convinced they made up all these rules to have some criteria to not give people housing.”

Officials from UCSD did not return a reporter’s request for comment Monday.

In a statement released by the university Monday, Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla said UCSD has “proactively responded to the COVID-19 pandemic to enable our students to resume classes, research opportunities and social activities in-person this fall.”

“We look forward to welcoming a new cohort of talented students to UC San Diego who will bring strong problem-solving capabilities, diverse worldviews and a renewed zest for learning,” Khosla said.

Many students say they’re now turning to Facebook groups for apartment or home rental listings.

Jodi Lynn Kim, a local broker associate, says if you want an edge on the competition, consider calling a broker as they will do the legwork for you.

“You sign the application and then we call and follow up,” Kim said. “We try to charm and get people to accept your application. Our main job is to make our clients in homes and happy.”

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