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Alabama A&M expands student housing

Through several campus projects and partnerships, Alabama A&M University has increased its housing capacity by more than 16 percent since 2022.

This fall, capacity will reach an all-time high thanks to additional on-campus beds along with new AAMU-brokered apartment options within a four-mile radius of campus. These efforts are part of AAMU’s work to address a national shortage of affordable housing options for students.

According to the National Center for Education Statistic’s most recent National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, just 38 percent of students at U.S. public colleges and universities live in campus-owned housing.

Alabama A&M officials said the school accommodates well-above that number with more than 50 percent of its students learning and living on The Hill. Still, officials say there’s more to be done to make sure campus housing is available for as many students as possible.

While a residential hall room is not attached to enrollment for students, Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Braque Talley said housing is a focus on campuses like AAMU.

“We cannot address retention and persistence without addressing housing insecurities faced by many students,” said Talley. “(AAMU) President (Daniel) Wims has made a commitment to increasing the university’s support for students.

“Under his leadership, we have added 534 housing spaces since 2022.”

AAMU houses a larger percentage of its student in university-owned housing than 12 of Alabama’s other 13 public universities. Talley said this reflects a greater need for housing support.

“Despite where we land in the national landscape, we understand the unique challenges of our student body,” he said. “Over 71 percent of the students we serve are Pell Grant recipients. So, we know the impacts of housing affordability and the need for campus living options show up more on campuses like ours than some peer institutions.”

Last year, Council Hall (100 beds) was reopened. This fall, additional beds (126) will be added at Foster Complex. AAMU has also entered into an agreement with The Lofts at Dallas Mill Apartments to secure 308 beds for students less than 3.5 miles from campus.

“Over 30 percent of our students are the first in their families to attend college,” said Talley. “More than 90 percent of them receive some form of financial aid. These are challenges we actually embrace as an engine of upward mobility. That’s why our team has been dedicated and will remain committed to uncovering every avenue and every opportunity possible to expand housing options.”

Across the nation, demand continues to outpace supply in terms of on-campus housing, but ongoing expansion efforts have increased AAMU’s capacity to 3,741.

“We have left no stone unturned in finding solutions for students,” said AAMU Director of Residential Life & Housing Karla Miller. “Our expanded capacity not only allows us to serve more students than ever, but there is also excitement about the new apartment options coming as a result of the first master lease agreement in AAMU history.

“We currently have 321 students on the waitlist for Fall 2023 housing assignments,” said Miller. Those requests are being processed, and housing will work to assign as many students as possible on a first-come, first-served basis. Notifications will go out soon to students who received an assignment.”

Students awaiting waitlist decisions are advised to monitor their AAMU emails. If students do not hold a Fall 2023 housing assignment and/or are not currently on the Fall 2023 housing waitlist, room assignments will not be made for the fall semester.

For all questions regarding housing processes, waitlist, move-in information and Fall 23 FAQs, visit: https://www.aamu.edu/campus-life/housing

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