Housing lowers age requirement for off-campus apartments

Housing changes off-campus residency requirements to allow students 20 and over to live in Biola apartments.

Julia Henning and Julia Henning

The age requirement to live off campus has been lowered and the La Mirada apartments have been acquired for off-campus housing in order to make more room for freshman and sophomore students under the age of 20 to live on campus.

“[Biola keeps] growing and the interest about living on campus keeps growing above and beyond what it used to be … which is wonderful that you want to be on campus and that something is going right and that you want to continue being in these communities,” housing manager Heidi Herchelroath said at the meeting.

Off-campus age requirement changes

The rumors that were discredited included that the rooms on certain floors were reserved for incoming students and that housing kicked people out of on-campus housing. She also gave an overview of the ramifications of the “glitch” over room selection last year.

Residency requirements have changed again this year. The age restriction for living off campus has gone down, according to Herchelroath. Previously, a student had to be 21 years old or at least a junior to live off campus, unless they are living with their parents and commuting. That age has been reduced to 20. A junior or senior older than the age of 20 may choose to room with a current resident younger than 20 in Thompson Hall or the Biola apartments, if they wish.

“We don’t want to restrict students who graduated from high school two years ago but are behind a few credits to qualify as a junior, so now there are more options available to them!” read Herchelroath’s housing meeting PowerPoint.

Students encouraged to start applications early

At the meeting, Herchelroath urged students to start their online housing applications as soon as they could. Current residents who have applied online by the deadline will have first priority to live on campus, while current residents who do not apply online by the deadline or are commuting students have last priority. The applications opened on Tuesday, March 20 and will close Easter Sunday, April 8 at 11:59 p.m. Students cannot apply until their housing deposits have been paid.

The next step in the process is to be matched with a roommate. To do so, students log into MyHousing and request a roommate — but one can only request a roommate who has also already turned in their housing application. Roommate selection began March 20 and will end Friday, April 27.

Room selection will take place April 17-20 and April 23-27.

Order of selection process

Selection order begins with the apartments and Thompson Hall, then freshmen and sophomores younger than 20 years old who want to stay in the same residence hall. Freshmen and sophomores under 20 years old who want to change residence halls will have third priority. Juniors and seniors who want to live in residence halls are given the lowest priority. The specific timeline will be on the Biola housing website by April 4.

“I don’t like [the housing situation] but I also see that it’s kind of necessary so that the freshmen and sophomores can get space on campus. Overall, I think this indicates that they need to build another dorm ASAP,” said sophomore Steph Henning, a 21-year-old anthropology major.

Housing looks to expand options in the future

Housing is working to expand, beginning with the recent acquisition of the La Mirada apartments, according to Herchelroath.

“Biola’s leaders are examining housing options, including plans for a new building. New buildings are complicated to get off the ground and are incredibly expensive. Our leaders and staff want you to live on campus. It’s going to take some time to determine the best long-term solution,” according to the PowerPoint.

Until more apartments can be acquired, and new dorms can be built, Herchelroath urged students to stay on top of housing deadlines and for older students who are planning to live in the residence halls to have a back-up plan to stay in an off-campus apartment.

“The advice I would give our students is to be sure you are well-informed and prepared for the process. You should know what your options are and be open to them. If the reality of your options are different than you wanted, how can you [be] open to the opportunity that God may have for you in another plan?” said Krista Roberts, director of residence life, in an email.

Students can follow Biola housing on Twitter @BiolaHousing, or visit the website for help or to see the calendar.

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