On-Campus Housing Not Guaranteed for All 4 Years
The Changing GU Housing Market - Upper Division Student Housing
Students are required to live on campus for two full years, not counting summers prior to turning 21. After that, they are invited to continue living on campus, especially in upper division apartment style facilities. However, there is no ‘guarantee’ they will succeed in securing such housing. It depends upon the year and the sizes of the freshmen and sophomore classes. Several trends, mentioned below, suggest much more opportunity may exist between 2017 and 2019.
Beginning in about 2015, upper division student housing options off campus began to expand with the coming of a privately owned college group housing apartment complex named 940 North at the west end of our campus which used a Kennedy Apartment style construction concept yet installed higher end interiors, including in unit laundry. Fall 2016, at the east end of campus, we saw the opening of The Matilda, another privately owned and operated apartment complex for college students. Both of these entities serve students from the University District, of which Gonzaga University is a member. The ‘creature comforts’ of these properties have attraction to students. In addition to these two large developments, smaller apartment complexes have been added just off of Sharp Ave. behind the Hamilton Market south of Safeway, and beside Pete’s Pizza in the 800 block of Sharp Ave. These sorts of developments are succeeding in attracting upper division students. The main differences between them and GU is that generally they only offer a 12 month ‘term’ whereas GU offers an academic term: 8.5 months, and the off campus private college group housing complexes charge more per month than does GU.
The two main private companies on both ends of our campus are not full as of January 2017. Generally, it takes 2-5 years for such new style private options to gain full market share. During the next couple of academic years more and more juniors and seniors will migrate to those options as preferences, leaving on campus upper division vacancies for those wishing to live on campus during junior and senior years.
During sign up processes in fall semester, we did not fill in upper division apartment housing. In fact, the ‘portion’ of our off campus apartments ended up only being 1/3 full for fall 2017! We expect to have more and more upper division apartment vacancies during the next couple academic years. Upper division sign up processes begin mid fall semester and are completed by Thanksgiving Break. So, to try out for GU housing, you will know by Thanksgiving if you have on campus housing for the next academic year. Please be aware that if you apply and succeed in securing a place on campus, you are ‘locked in’ and may not continue looking for other options without significant financial penalty.
We encourage you to wait on your search for junior year housing until you find out whether or not you can get ‘on campus’ upper division housing, since we now complete those processes prior to Thanksgiving. And, should you not succeed, our department is here to assist you in looking off campus also! So you will have a partner to help if you need.