Freshman class shrinks by about 300 from 2010

As enrollment numbers shrink, residence halls will become less crowded this fall.

“We made a choice to lower the number of students we admit," said Director of Admissions Betty Wagner. "So this year we shouldn’t have all the overcrowding that we had last school year."

There will be no residence halls in expanded occupancy, which gave some rooms five residents last year.

The majority of resident assistants and multicultural assistants will have a fourth roommate, said Joan Schmidt, associate director of Residence Life. Normally, RAs and MAs receive their own bedroom.

When more rooms begin to open up, the extra roommates in these rooms will be given the option to move.

At the start of last school year, almost 10 percent of residence hall rooms, 175 rooms out of 1,800, were overcrowded. In September, the number dropped to 130 rooms, and in October, it dropped to 43. At the start of the spring semester in January, there were 54 overcrowded rooms.

“I was everybody’s favorite roommate so I choose to stay in the room (when offered the option)," said Perry Watkins, a New Jersey sophomore who shared a room with four others last year. "But it was a huge hassle in the room when it came to space because we never had enough."

Freshmen enrollment is expected to drop by over 300 students this school year with estimates between 3,800 and 3,850 compared to last year's record of 4,173. The official 2011-12 count will not be available until mid-September when all late cancelations are accounted for, said John Fisher, associate vice president of Residences and Auxiliary Services.

Most freshmen classes in the past decade have had between 3,500 and 3,850 students. The 4,000 incoming freshmen mark was hit for the first time last year.

Fisher said CMU does not have any plans in the near future to build new residence halls on campus.

- University Editor Theresa Clift contributed to this report.


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