WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — It's only November, but Purdue University has already run out of available campus housing for the 2023 school year.
More students want to return to the dorms than they have space for.
Some students who did secure a room discovered they have to pay a lot more than they expected.
Purdue freshmen Lexie Bordenkecher and Isabella Hengletraub want to live on campus again as sophomores. But they say securing student housing for next year has been unexpectedly difficult.
"Chaotic. Very chaotic," Lexie said. "Very uncertain."
Contract renewal, which is happening right now at Purdue, hit a major roadblock.
When students try to choose a dorm during their designated selection time, there should be multiple options available. Instead, they're now getting this message online:
"We couldn't find any available rooms. Please check back as space may become available," Lexie read off the housing portal screen.
"Yeah, there's nothing left in the housing portal anymore," Isabella said. "There's no options to click."
A Purdue spokesperson confirms to 13News that demand is so high, they've already run out of rooms for 2023.
Purdue wouldn't provide anyone from their student housing department for an interview.
Instead, the spokesperson shared the following statement:
"The demand for a Purdue education is at an all-time high as is demand for on-campus housing, given that we have the lowest room and board rates in the Big Ten, as well as highly ranked housing options. We have added more than 3,900 beds since 2020 through densification, master leases and the purchase of Aspire, but the number of students who have indicated a desire to return to University Residences for fall 2023 is more than we have seen in the past. Despite more rooms than ever before being held for returners, there remain some who may not be able to find space in UR housing. As is our standard practice, rooms are set aside to accommodate incoming (first year) students, which we know allows them to better adjust to college. That prioritization does come at a cost to some of our returning students who would like to continue to live in University Residences. At this point, we have more residents who would like to return than we have space and will continue to direct them to available housing in the area."
"For those people trying now, like, what are they going to do? There's nothing there," Lexie said.
Lexie got to pick a place before they ran out.
But when her assigned time slot came up, she got only one option.
"The only thing left was Aspire apartments."
And Aspire, a recently purchased property for Purdue, came with some serious sticker shock for the Bordenkecher family.
It's double the cost of her current dorm.
"I texted my parents frantically," Lexie said, "and then I called my dad on the way home from class."
"That's a big shock! And what's the biggest shock of all...is the price tag," Lexie's dad, Dan, said. "These are $5,500 per semester. She pays around $5,500 for the entire year this year. Where are we going to come up with the extra $5,500? I don't know."
Purdue is prioritizing dorms for freshman.
In the past, the university has had problems with start-of-the-semester overcrowding.
But this year, that comes at a cost for returning Boilermakers.
With cheaper rooms set aside for new students, Lexie got what's left.
"This was chosen for us. She didn't get to make a choice," her father said. "We love the university. We don't love what's going on here with housing."
Now, her family hopes something less expensive eventually opens up.
"If it doesn't," Lexie said, "I don't know what we're going to do."
Same for the students who – for now – can't get a campus home at all.
Lexie said she was told to keep checking back, that rooms may open up as other students change their minds and choose to live off-campus instead.