Stony Brook University fell 400 beds short of meeting the needs of the nearly 10,000 students who applied for a bed last fall, and thanks to the 1,500 additional students NYSUNY 2020 hopes to enroll over the next five years, that number is likely to grow, even with additional residential buildings.

Fall 2011 will likely be less of a strain on Campus Residences thanks to the administration’s imposed enrollment cap. Three hundred fewer freshmen will be enrolled this year compared to last year.

But by Fall 2016, the final year of the NYSUNY2020 rollout, as many as 1,200 more students could potentially be fighting for a spot on campus.

According to Alan deVries, the Associate Director of Residential Programs and Administrative Services, some help is on the way. “There are already plans to build a 400 bed residence hall anticipated to open Fall 2014 in the Mendelsohn and H Quad area of campus,” he said.

Even when that building opens, there will still be a sizable (and growing) population of students who are seeking campus housing. If current trends hold, approximately 40% of students will seek campus housing. That means a shortage of 280 beds this fall and 480 when the five-year plan ends, reaching a peak of approximately 520 in 2013, before the new dorm opens.

While these numbers are just estimates based on current statistics, recent years have actually seen a slight increase in the number of students who want to live on campus as the university grows and attracts more students from out of state.

Meanwhile, Campus Residences is doing their best to assist students who are in need of housing near the university. Stony Brook offers an off-campus housing service that helps connects landlords with potential tenants, and fresh posts on Craigslist appear daily.

While there are some terrific rates available ($350 per month for a room a short walk away from South P lot), many other apartments can run for as much as $1,500 a month, a prohibitively expensive cost for most college students. And many listed houses are far enough away that they require a car to get to and from campus.

A representative for the administration was not immediately available for comment.

Unless more housing is added in the years to come, it looks as though a significant number of students will still be forced to find alternative housing and transportation, and in some cases, even a nearby place to do their laundry.

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