Wait-list begins for FAMU Towers as students ponder options

FAMU’s housing application portal seeks to attract upperclassmen.
Photo by Audriana Thomas

On Monday,  Florida A&M University’s housing department opened the application portal at 12 a.m. The application featured the option to sign up for the fall 2020 wait-list for FAMU Towers. 

According to the housing portal website, applications will be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis until capacity is reached. According to the website, “I understand that if my request is approved, the approval is final. I will be required to move by the date/time specified to me by the Office of University Housing.”

Opening the wait-list early puts the Office of University Housing in a position to be more competitive from a marketing standpoint. Many off-campus housing facilities began their new leasing season in mid-September to early October. Prior to 2018, the housing department opened housing applications in the spring semester. 

FAMU North and South Tower will be composed of two four-story buildings, each wing housing 350 rooms with shared bathrooms. The co-ed traditional style facility features double occupancy rooms and is set to open in August 2020.

The rollout of the new housing option is targeted at upperclassmen, and asks that students envision living on campus again. It uses enticing words like “new” and “exclusive” to persuade students to opt for on-campus housing. 

However, the thought of sharing a room with someone, even if the person is a friend, is not ideal for many upperclassmen. 

Senior DeMario Chappell believes FAMU may be out of touch with the upperclassmen student population. The biology major, who previously lived in a double occupancy room due to the cheaper cost, said FAMU doesn’t do the best job of matching students who are in similar places in their academic career. 

“People here have so many personalities and you have to hope that you get matched with someone who is like you,” Chappell said. As for his thoughts about double occupancy rooms, the senior said, “People here are grown and you don’t want to be there when it’s that ‘time.’”

 Students have raised questions regarding various concerns, from the safety of the location to noise levels due to the fact that the facility is located near the band practice fields.

Although many students were excited at the prospect of being a resident in a new facility on campus, the excitement quickly faded for some students currently residing off-campus after seeing the price.

Chase Nwaobi , who has lived off campus for most of his academic career, believes that it’s cheaper to live off campus. “If I have to pay that price, I might as well stay somewhere else,” the junior said.

The new facility costs $3,770 per semester, making it not only the most expensive double-occupancy room on campus, but  also the most expensive housing option on campus. The towers cost is $364 more than the most expensive double room on campus. 

The price is also $40 more than what students pay to live in singles at Polkinghorne Village, which opened in 2014. 

At a glance, living off campus can be cheaper depending on how the student builds their budget.If a person were to live in FAMU Towers, the monthly breakdown of the cost for four months of housing is $942.50.

However, the flexibility that university housing provides by not being bound by a 12-month contract and allowing students to engage in an agreement that lasts for the academic school year is unmatched. For students who would like to go home or do internships during the summer, not having to sublease an apartment is a relief.

While several apartments in the area offer five- or 10-month leases in addition to 12-month lease, the options are limited. The five- or 10-month lease are few in numbers and often require students to pay a higher monthly rate than the normal 12-month lease for the same bed-space. 

According to a 2019 survey published in the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, students who live on campus perform better academically than those housed in off-campus apartments.