LSA sophomore Diana Rusz was going to live in Baits Residence Hall with her roommate for a second year before she found out she could live in Northwood III for a cheaper rate.

Because of the large incoming freshman class, University Housing is giving roommate pairs who are returning to residence halls the choice of living in Northwood apartments for a lower price.

For $5,425 — $1,200 cheaper than the regular rate — upperclassmen can live in a two-bedroom Northwood III apartment during the 2009-2010 school year.

Originally offered in July to only upperclassmen roommate pairs who had planned to live in Bursley and Baits Residence Halls, the deal has been expanded to all roommate pairs living in residence halls.

So far, 28 students have signed up for the offer. University Housing Spokesman Peter Logan said there are 40 more spaces available in Northwood III and that the University would like to fill those in order to make room for freshmen in residence halls on North Campus.

“Essentially, we have enough beds for our incoming students, just not all in the right places,” Logan said.

The class of 2013 contains 200 more students than the class of 2012. Logan said the majority of incoming freshmen opt to live in residence halls, and it’s Housing’s job to find them rooms regardless of class size.

“Typically in a given year anywhere from 96 to 98 percent of first-year students choose to live on campus, so we’re trying to anticipate making appropriate spaces available to them,” Logan said.

He added that the University will not place freshmen in Northwood III — apartments designated for upperclassmen — because freshmen need to be in a residence hall setting.

“First-year students really need to be in a residence hall where we can provide that kind of support academically and socially and help them in that transition from high school into the University environment,” Logan said.

To accommodate larger incoming classes in the past, Housing has converted residence hall lounges into fully equipped student rooms with the same kind of electronic security locks placed on all standard rooms.

Logan said the University doesn’t know if it will have to “go in that direction this year.”

“We’d like to anticipate our placement needs for our first-year students coming in so, if at all possible, we can avoid going into any conversions of lounges,” he said.

Though the University has never offered upperclassmen the option of moving to Northwood III at such a price, Logan said he hopes the opportunity will attract students who would have liked to live in the apartments but chose not to because of cost.

A standard rate for a two-person apartment in Northwood III is approximately $6,625 while a standard double room on North Campus costs approximately $5,425. The deal allows students to pay the same price that they would pay for their room in a residence hall.

Student taking the offer can also keep their current meal plan, drop it or switch to the 50 and 75 block plans available to apartment residents.

Rusz said another appealing feature of the Northwood deal was that Housing let her drop her contract with Baits, despite having a meal plan.

Before receiving an e-mail notifying students of the offer, Rusz said she decided to take the deal after finding out she was not required to have a meal plan, and she could live in Northwood III for a lower price.

“When I saw the e-mail, and it said I’d (be able to live in Northwood) at a cheaper price and that I’d have the option not to have a meal plan, I took it,” she said.

“I don’t know why people wouldn’t take it,” Rusz said. “I think it’s an awesome deal.”

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