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Senior Housing Update

Information for Students and Families

Anderson University Campus Family:

Because a great deal of misinformation is being spread about on-campus housing for seniors next fall, we would like to offer the following additional information, address some of the fiction, and provide the facts.

Like many universities, Anderson University requires that freshmen, sophomores, and juniors live on campus to the extent housing spots are available.

The reason it’s a good idea to require that freshmen, sophomores, and juniors live on campus is simple: research shows younger students are more successful in college when they get plugged into campus life and develop a sense of community with their peers. The on-campus living requirement is just one of the many ways we intentionally foster that connection.

That being said, on-campus housing is limited. That’s why the University has never guaranteed housing. When demand exceeds supply—as is currently the case next semester— some students may be allowed to live off campus.

Space permitting, seniors may apply to live on campus, or they may live off campus.

There are two primary reasons for this. First, by the time a student has reached his or her final year in college, they’ve already forged the community bonds necessary for a successful and rewarding college experience. Second, just as living on campus helps ease a student’s transition to college, living off campus helps ease a student’s transition to postgraduate life. Living on one’s own, off campus, is a vital learning experience (as is dorm living is for a freshman!)

However, when space is not available to house all seniors that desire to live on campus, some seniors must obviously live off campus.

Of course, AU recognizes that many seniors want to live on campus because of our robust campus experience. It’s fun to live on campus. It’s convenient. And, when space is available, we welcome as many students as we can accommodate. When space is not available, however, our written policy is clear: housing preference is given to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.

The simple fact is that, while planning for fall 2024, we received more housing applications from seniors than ever before. In fact, we saw a 20 percent increase in senior students (388, to be precise) seeking on-campus housing from a year ago. That’s the sole reason why, for the first time in our 113-year history, we made the difficult decision to institute a limited lottery for some seniors.

To be clear, the sole reason for the lottery is the increased demand for on-campus housing from rising seniors.

Why did we communicate these circumstances now? It’s so that affected seniors have ample time to make other arrangements. We are eager, willing and ready to assist students in finding off-campus housing.

We recognize that a senior housing lottery is not ideal. But it is necessary.

Anderson University is thankful our students are so passionate about living with their peers on campus. It’s one of the many things that make our campus community special. We deeply regret the inconvenience of a senior housing lottery. Again, we are eager to assist students find other arrangements. We’ll do everything in our power to help. In the meantime, we appreciate the grace so many of you have shown as we navigate this challenge together.

In conclusion, we hope this simple document will help you better understand the dynamics behind the senior housing lottery.

How else can we help? Please let us know by calling Residence Life at 864-662-6011 or by sending us an email to

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Fiction and Fact


There isn’t enough on-campus housing for seniors because Anderson University accepted too many incoming freshmen.


The University has allocated the same number of beds for first-time freshmen and transfer students in fall 2024 as it did in fall 2023.

The University had to establish a senior housing lottery because a record number of seniors (388 in total) requested on-campus housing next semester. Senior housing applications are 20% higher for fall 2024 than they were for fall 2023.


Anderson University has failed to plan for enrollment growth.


Increased enrollment is not a surprise; the University has enjoyed year-over-year enrollment growth for nearly 20 years. That’s why, in the last three years, Anderson University has created more than 500 new residential spaces—and will continue doing so in the years ahead. (To cite just one example, in 2021, Anderson University purchased College Parke, a townhouse complex with the capacity for 110 students, in part to address continued growth. Since the initial purchase, nearly 300 additional beds have been added to College Parke, marking a total investment exceeding $15 million.)

There has been one surprise: 20% more seniors applied for on-campus housing for fall 2024 than for fall 2023. We planned reasonably for increased senior demand. We didn’t plan enough for that much increased demand.

Anderson’s growth going forward is expected to be mainly in graduate students who do not require housing.


Anderson University seniors have nowhere to go to find housing.


The University notified seniors of the housing lottery six months before the start of the 2024 fall semester.

More than 2,000 students live on campus at Anderson University. Of those, 129 students—all of whom are rising seniors who have lived on campus for at least six semesters—have been placed on the waitlist as a result of the housing lottery.

An unprecedented 388 seniors applied for on-campus housing for next fall. Of those, 259 (67%) have already been accommodated with on-campus housing.

Finally, next fall, Anderson University will house 100 more on-campus seniors than in fall 2023. On the other hand, the number of freshmen and transfers living on campus next fall will be largely the same as last fall.


Students are told on-campus housing is guaranteed during their four years of college.


Both the Anderson University Student Handbook and the housing agreement students sign each year clearly state that on-campus housing for seniors is not guaranteed. This misperception arises from the fact that, until this year, Anderson University has generally been able to accommodate all on-campus housing requests from seniors because of excess capacity—but only after assigning first-, second- and third-year students. The fact that, for the first time, the University had to do so is not ideal. But it is necessary and in line with published housing policies.”