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USF apartment-style dorms will not be available to first-time-in-college students

USF Housing spokesperson Elizabeth Fry says keeping freshmen in traditional and suite style dorms will increase a sense of community among first-time-in-college students. ORACLE PHOTO/ ARCHIVE

First-time USF students will no longer have access to apartment-style dorms in the fall.

USF Housing spokesperson Elizabeth Fry said the change will allow students to feel more connected if they are not isolated in their own bedroom.

“We just want to make sure that our incoming freshmen, as they go about their college venture, that they have as much support as possible and we believe that this is the best way to offer that support and connection to them,” Fry said.

Freshmen will only have access to traditional and suite-style rooms, both of which have two beds to a room.

Fry said incoming students have been informed of the change during open houses and admitted students’ day events. The change has also been indicated on USF’s Housing and Residential Education website.

However, the change will not reduce the number of beds available to incoming freshmen. 

Last fall, 220 apartment-style beds were allocated for the incoming class. In fall 2024, USF will reassign 220 additional traditional or suite-style beds available to replace the apartment-style options, making a total of 3,400 beds available for incoming students.

The restriction will also apply to double occupancy apartment-style dorms, such as some rooms in Kosove Apartments.

Traditional-style dorms include two beds per room with a communal bathroom shared by three or four rooms. Suite-style dorms include two double-occupancy rooms and a shared bathroom between the bedrooms. 

Students admitted in the summer will have access to apartment-style dorms during summer sessions, but will have to move to a traditional or suite-style dorm in the fall. Fry said this is because USF houses fewer summer residents and some buildings will be under construction during summer semesters.

Incoming freshmen will be able to live in an apartment-style dorm if they are invited into a roommate group by an upperclassman, according to Fry.

Fry said apartment style is typically the choice of upperclassmen students.

“It kind of all fell into place in that regard, but the driving factor behind this decision was considering what options and opportunities would be best for our freshmen students,” Fry said.

Upperclassmen will have access to all 1,770 apartment-style beds and the remaining 1,322 traditional and suite-style beds.

Fry said she has discussed making the change with the housing department “for a while,” but has decided to implement the decision for the upcoming school year.

She said national studies that have shown the benefits of having roommates as a freshman were referenced while making the decision. 

The Housing website defines the apartment-style dorms as an independent living option, saying “apartments offer more privacy and are a great choice for older students and those who find it easy to seek out community involvement opportunities.

Fry said the decision will ultimately benefit students, fostering both academic and social success in first-year students. 

“We felt that this would be the best option for freshmen to continue getting plugged in and have the most connection to their friends or peers,” Fry said. “It was just a change that we thought would be beneficial for our residents.”