UC San Diego to resume two-year housing guarantees for undergraduates

UC San Diego will add 2,000 undergraduate beds in fall 2023.
UC San Diego will add 2,000 undergraduate beds in fall 2023.
(Gary Robbins / The San Diego Union-Tribune )

The program will go into full effect in 2023 when additional beds become available


UC San Diego says it will broadly reinstate the two-year, on-campus housing guarantee that was available to incoming undergraduates before the pandemic forced the school to thin its housing stock.

The offer will be phased in, taking full effect in fall 2023 when the university opens a new village that can house about 2,000 students.

The reinstated guarantee will be primarily aimed at incoming freshmen and sophomores to help them acclimate to university life and to avoid the highly competitive and expensive private housing market off campus. But other undergraduates also will have access, based on supply.

Many students have been on waiting lists this summer, trying to secure campus housing for the fall.

UCSD expects to house as many as 18,022 students when the fall quarter starts on Sept. 19. That would be a record, and it would partly be made possible by UCSD’s decision to allow up to three students to live in some rooms. The campus had been moving away from that practice because it can cause crowding problems.

The university has been experiencing housing issues for years, largely because it’s been adding students much faster than it’s been adding places for them to sleep. Enrollment increased by about 14,400 over the past decade, reaching nearly 43,000 last fall. The figure could hit 44,000 in September and 50,000 within a decade, says Chancellor Pradeep Khosla.

The crunch was made worse by the pandemic, which led the school to reduce its housing capacity by about 2,000 to promote social distancing. The village that will open next year will erase that deficit. UCSD plans to add an additional 3,300 undergraduate beds by 2025.

“We are aware that finding housing at affordable prices is becoming increasingly difficult throughout California,” Khosla said in a statement. “In response, we have enhanced our strategies to address the housing shortage and return to guarantees suspended during the pandemic.”

The return of the housing guarantee drew a mixed response from Jocelyn Brossia, editor of The Guardian, a UCSD newspaper.

“While current undergraduates will likely appreciate the long-term steps being taken to address the ongoing housing crisis, it could be frustrating to those of us who are struggling in the present,” Brossia told the Union-Tribune in an email.

“Our peers are scrambling to secure and finance housing today — what can be done to support them?”