For incoming freshmen, returning students and even older, married students, finding student housing can be tough, but there is an increasing amount of affordable options close to the campus community.
Though Weber State University has garnered the reputation of being primarily a commuter school, recent efforts by WSU’s housing department and an increased percentage of incoming students not from Weber and Davis counties have led to more on-campus dormitories being built.
“We have seen a great increase with the number of out-of-state students that come into housing,” said Daniel Kilcrease, the director of Housing and Residence Life. “A lot of athletes are living on campus, and, with increased enrollment, there are more students living on campus. We have about 750-800 students that live with us right now.”
According to Kilcrease, the Weber Edge program, which gives out-of-state students in-state tuition rates if they live in the WSU residence halls, is the biggest reason for the increase.
“Weber Edge gives about 100 students a year the opportunity to come to Utah and study,” Kilcrease said. “That’s been a positive spin for us. In general, we’ve seen a lot more out-of-state and international students.”
Campus housing recently cut the ribbon on its most recent building, New Hall 1, which is the first of three updated units designed to replace the aging Promontory Tower, WSU’s tallest building. Promontory Tower is tentatively scheduled to “come down next summer,” according to Kilcrease, and two more dormitories identical to New Hall 1 will be built over the next three years. Individual names for the residence halls have yet to be determined.
“The entire complex will be called the Wildcat Village,” Kilcrease said. “We’re excited about our new residence halls and the opportunities they provide for students to live and learn in a community atmosphere. I think the new amenities and the structure and the new facilities are phenomenal.”
Some students looking for housing off campus have found that local homeowners are willing to lend out basements as apartments. For married students, this is one of a small number of options.
“We prefer renting out to students,” said Miyeko Bowen, who rents two apartments in a house she and her husband own, just east of Ogden High School. “Usually, students are best, because you have them for the school year and you don’t have to worry about it during that whole time period …and they do a good job of taking care of the house.”
Bowen, who has been renting the house out for about four years, says that 80 percent of her tenants are students.
“We usually just post openings on the LDS Institute housing board,” she said, “but also sometimes on KSL.”
Many incoming students don’t know where to go to find housing, other than KSL or small boards posted around campus. A new, WSU-specific website sponsored by The Signpost is going up this fall to help address that problem.
“It’s called ‘Signpost Swap’,” said Signpost online editor Mike Jasper. “It’ll be in full swing at the beginning of fall semester. You don’t have to register or anything like that to post stuff. You give it your e-mail, so if anybody wanted to talk to you, it would send that to your e-mail, or you could put your phone in the ad and they can call you on the phone. It’s super easy. You can go on there and post something in 30 seconds.”
Signpost Swap will offer a quicker, more current alternative to traditional classified pages, and with different sections devoted to housing, apartments, homes for sale, roommates wanted and other sections for books, electronics, cars and other items, the object of the new site is to target the campus community.