With panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, unobstructed sunsets and exclusive beach access for students, PLNU’s on-campus housing seems to exceed expectations for college dorms. However, in the past two years, PLNU’s housing has been a topic of debate among new students.
As The Point reported last year, freshman study lounges in Hendricks and Klassen Hall have been converted into six eight-person dorm rooms to accomodate high retention rates. Other former two-person rooms have been converted into three-person rooms. In an anonymous survey created by The Point, 24% of PLNU students said they are “satisfied” with current housing conditions, another 29% said “extremely unsatisfied,” and none said “extremely satisfied.”
Shannon Hutchison-Caraveo, PLNU Director of Undergraduate Admissions, said, “Any college that’s looking to get the same number of freshmen each year has to admit more freshmen to get that number. A student who would have applied to PLNU and five other colleges a few years ago is now applying to PLNU and ten other colleges,” she said, “which means each of us…have a lower chance to be ‘chosen’ by the student.”
Scott Shoemaker, PLNU Associate VP of Enrollment and Retention, said previous years have seen a steady decrease in yield, meaning the annual number of admitted students to choose PLNU. “In the previous five years our yield for first year admits had slipped from 31 in 2013 to 27 [percent] last year,” said Shoemaker. “Given that slide of roughly one percent per year, we predicted 26 percent (620 students) for our entering class in 2018, a reasonable assumption in this market.” The actual for 2018 was 657 students enrolled out of 2,394 admitted; a 27.44 percent enrollment.
“If [administrators] want to enroll more students than the campus should handle, they should ease up on the restrictions for living off campus, not cram three students into dorm rooms meant for two people,” said Evan Killeen, senior music and business administration major. “If our administration wants the additional revenue of admitting so many more students, they should do so in a way that doesn’t negatively affect students.”