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GRADUATE STUDENT HOUSING CRUNCH



Nancy Tsai knew from experience that the housing situation for graduate students living off campus was bleak. But the doctoral student in mechanical engineering didn’t know just how bleak until she conducted an informal survey last summer of graduate student experiences in off-campus apartment hunting.

One of the more startling findings was that several students were considering taking a second job, taking out a loan or taking a leave of absence for a quarter to raise money to meet their cost of living. The survey also showed that students sometimes have to search for months to find housing, and that they wind up having to pay anywhere from 50 to 150 percent of their incomes on rent.

David Aaron Krieger, a fourth-year graduate student in the applied physics department, no longer encourages prospective students to come. “I’ll advise friends to go somewhere else, since a lot of their free time and money will go toward housing,” he says. Krieger was denied housing for the fall after having lived on campus for three years, a different place each year. Now he shares an apartment with a friend and commutes to campus on his bicycle. Not only has the move been expensive, Krieger says, but “I don’t live near my colleagues or many of my friends so it is much harder to meet people for dinner or tohang out. I spend over an hour a day commuting, time that could be spent studying.”

The university can accommodate about 9,200 students in campus housing, which includes about 92 percent of its undergraduates and 46 percent of its graduate students. Although a record number of graduates who wanted to live on campus was turned down this year, according to Keith Guy, director of housing and dining services, Stanford was able to meet its housing policy of guaranteeing housing units for all first-year graduate students and students with children who have been at Stanford four years or fewer. Last May,

Housing Shortage (Plain text)

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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1998

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 President’s Column
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 Waymouth/Hellman


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