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As students begin to consider leases, they may be surprised to see that their lease dates look different than those from years before.

Last year, Provost Vince Price approved a change in the academic year after his office discovered that Penn’s calendar didn’t align with Middle States Commission on Higher Education regulations. As a result, students will have to come back to campus early to start classes in August for the first time since 1974.

The Radian Apartments adjusted their lease start and move-in dates from Aug. 15 and Aug. 30 to July 31 and Aug. 15, respectively.

Rachel Kihn — vice president of marketing at Inland American Communities, which manages the Radian, said in an email that the adjustment was a smooth process. She added that this change will not cause changes in rates as “both the move-in date and move-out date were adjusted to be earlier, so the total duration of the lease term remains the same as previous years.”

According to Campus Apartments Regional Property Manager Jason Cohen, leases signed this academic year have already been adjusted to end in July instead of the old August end date. He said he still has a few leases that start Sept. 1 for students who decide to sign after the semester begins.
Cohen advised, “When you’re looking for apartments, know when your classes begin since every school is different,” adding that the graduate schools often have earlier start dates.

Nursing sophomore Christine Rohaly, who just signed a contract with an independent landlord for the next academic year, said she did not find the change to be a snag in the housing search process.

Rohaly said she knew about the earlier start date but did not actively account for it when she was looking at different properties.

However, she said signing with an independent provider may have brought a benefit in this regard because of the flexibility.

“She only has one property and one set of tenants to deal with, so it’s probably easier for her to keep track of when people move in or out,” she said. “It’s easier for [larger leasing companies] to put a fixed deadline on everything, while an independent person can help the tenants figure out what’s best for everyone.”

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