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Bryn Mawr, Pa.

For the second consecutive year, students have found difficulty in securing on-campus housing.

About 350 students, mainly rising sophomores, were not assigned housing during this year's normal assignments process.

Last year, 375 students were not assigned housing, and the large incoming freshman class caused a housing crunch that left several transfer students spending the first months of the academic year in the Sheraton Hotel.

Space in the college houses was reserved for between 2,350 and 2,385 incoming freshmen this year, the same number of beds as was reserved last year.

According to housing department officials, rooms with private bedrooms or kitchens, especially in the high-rise college houses, were in particularly high demand and especially difficult to obtain.

Students not assigned housing were given the option to add their names to the upperclass waiting list, apply for a space in the graduate towers or seek housing off campus.

Out of the 350 students not assigned housing, 178 students chose to remain on the wait list. According to Housing and Conference Services spokeswoman Lynn Rotoli, all but four of the students on the waitlist have already been moved to campus rooms. Forty seven of those students requested placement in the Graduate Towers, normally limited to graduate students and rising juniors and seniors, but now open to all students due to the housing crunch.

Rotoli said her office was able to place the students in large part because they submitted new room choices, either in terms of the type of room or dorm preferred.

She said that the four students remaining on the waitlist have all requested single rooms.

While there are over 10,000 undergraduates enrolled in the University, there is only room to house 5,370 students on campus. Officials hope to add 1,000 beds to campus as part of the University's extensive renovation of campus facilities, but those spaces will not be available for several years.

David Brownlee, director of College Houses and Academic Services, attributed the high demand for on-campus housing to the success of the college house system, which began in the 1998-1999 school year.

The college house program divided the University's dormitories into 12 college houses, adding staff and programs to attempt to develop more of a community feel within the dorms and encourage students to stay on campus.

All freshmen are guaranteed housing, but the housing shortage may make it more difficult for them to receive their top choices.

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