Students paid to leave

“On Sept. 10, students in University dorms checked their e-mail to find an offer straight out of The Godfather. All the money they had spent on housing thus far plus $1,000 if they moved off-campus in one week. Only the first 100 students who replied to the e-mail were considered for the offer.”

On Sept. 10, students in University dorms checked their e-mail to find an offer straight out of The Godfather. All the money they had spent on housing thus far plus $1,000 if they moved off-campus in one week.

Only the first 100 students who replied to the e-mail were considered for the offer.

Akron’s class of 2012, the largest in university history, has 4,537 students.  The influx of students proved too much for the existing residence halls.

The only way to house every student was to take space in the newly-acquired Quaker Square Hotel and rent sections of the Radisson in downtown Akron.

At the beginning of the school year, 150 students lived in the hotels. 

Thanks to the open spots created by the University’s offer, only 50 remain at Quaker Square.

Hannah Haslinger and Rikki Ottney, freshmen living in Gallucci Hall, considered the offer when they saw the e-mail.

I think where I stay is not as nice as other places, explained Haslinger.  It smells really bad in the elevators.  It was better to have our own place.

The girls liked the idea of living on their own, paying less for rent and receiving the $1,000 incentive.

Unfortunately, the university would take about a month to send the money they needed for rent.

Though it did not work out for Rikki and Hannah, living off-campus certainly makes financial sense for many other students. 

Compared to an average of $2,820 to live in university housing for a semester, five months of rent near campus costs roughly $1,500.

Of course, these figures do not include utilities or gas, but the general consensus remains that, from a strictly financial standpoint, living off-campus is the way to go.

Though offering a total of $100,000 as a free incentive to leave may seem like a waste of money, the potential alternative of paying the Radisson bill for several more months would have dug deeper into Akron’s wallet.

The University of Akron’s success and growth in academic and athletic spheres, as well as general excitement surrounding the new stadium, have made this the third consecutive year of an increase in enrollment.

According to University spokesman Ken Torisky, the Department of Resident Life and Housing has found itself in relatively unfamiliar territory.

This is the first year we’ve had this situation happen, he said.  We’re looking at all the options we have with our residence life community, and we’re going to be coming up with policies and procedures for future academic years.

According to Torisky, a new and much-needed $32.5 million apartment-style residence hall on the corner of Exchange and Spicer has been a possibility in the plans all along, but nothing has been approved yet.