Residential Life certainly has a vested interest in keeping students on campus in order to generate revenue, but students who make early off-campus lease agreements and are later denied off-campus housing must then pay for an assigned on-campus room as well, creating stressful financial situations.
Students are informed not to sign leases before receiving the go-ahead to move off campus. The current online application does not list a notification deadline, but leases often have to be signed far in advance.
Students should give the reason why they want to live off campus, and priority should be given to students who cannot afford on-campus room and board.
In order to reduce the number of off-campus applications, residential life could encourage students to remain on campus by better explaining the additional benefits and services offered. A convenient cost analysis would help students make better-informed decisions about housing.
Looking at side-by-side pricing and knowing where the money goes, compared to a typical lease, would give students more confidence in their choices and help Residential Life better rationalize the need to deny more off-campus applications.