CANTON — SUNY Canton’s decade of rapid expansion has left it wondering where to put all of its students.
With on-campus residence halls almost full, the college is now asking landlords in the vicinity of the campus to house students in what is shaping up to be another year of record enrollments.
“We have a large incoming first-year class and more returning students than ever before,” said Carli C. Schiffner, provost and vice president for academic affairs, in a released statement Monday. “We are considering several options to help the college and the community continue to grow. Our first step is to ask the public if any additional housing options exist off campus.”
In the past six years, SUNY Canton has seen a 48 percent growth in enrollment. The college already has received a record 6,500 applications for the coming school year.
This fall, the college is expected to break 4,000 students for the first time. Only 1,350 of those students can be accommodated on campus, said John M. Kennedy, director of residence life.
“Approximately one-third of our total enrollment lives on campus,” he said. “The remainder of our students are either from the north country and live at home with family or rent in the area. There is also a small percentage that take all of their classes online.”
To help students with their housing search, the university is trying to coordinate with local landlords and maintains a list of off-campus apartments on its website.
Elsewhere in the country, some universities have started subsidizing students’ rent in off-campus housing to cope with swelling demand, but Mr. Kennedy said that was not being considered by SUNY Canton.
In 2011, the university opened Grasse River Suites, a 300-bed residence hall, but demand has continued to outpace construction.
Mr. Kennedy said another residence hall could come to campus in the near future.
“We are exploring additional living options both on campus and off campus,” he said. “We are currently conducting a feasibility study to build more on-campus housing, potentially another new residence hall by 2014. And we’re looking at all other potential short-term options for this year. We’re having ongoing discussions and meetings regarding possible solutions for this coming semester.”
Families in the area who want to rent an unused room or landlords who expect to have vacancies should contact the college’s residence life office at 386-7513 or email their contact information to email@example.com.