Before fall classes have even started, Georgia State University students are learning a lesson about supply and demand.
Due to an “unusual increase in the number of applicants desiring housing,” student need is greater than the number of spaces GSU can offer on campus, according to its website.
As a result, University Housing is arranging for overflow housing for about 500 of 5,300 residential students.
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About 400 of those students are to be temporarily housed at Sheraton Atlanta, where resident assistants and university police will be deployed. Those students will receive a pro-rated cost and moved into University Housing by the end of the month, the school says.
Students must be out by then because the Sheraton is a host hotel for DragonCon, which begins Sept. 1.
GSU is calling for student volunteers to share their dorm rooms — but that hasn’t been required at this point, a spokeswoman said Thursday. Volunteers would receive a $1,400 room reduction rate for the semester.
“We have the Sheraton Hotel until Aug. 31, so we will be continuing to try to resolve our overflow issue through cancellations and volunteers until then,” she said.
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Students who wish to volunteer can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404-413-1800.
Those who aren’t being directed to the Sheraton are being assigned overflow rooms in Piedmont North and University Lofts. Those residents will also receive a discount.
But for some students, there’s not much solace.
“Students are just panicking,” student Azaria Moore told Channel 2 Action News. “We're all in group meets, Instagram, Twitter trying to figure out what to do.”
GSU says it intentionally overbooked its housing program, and officials think that hundreds of students will end up canceling the dorm rooms they reserved over the summer, according to the station.
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GSU's director of housing said the university accepted so many students this year because last year they had more than 1,000 cancellations that left them with hundreds of open beds.