Limited Housing Gives Transfers Few Options


Published: October 11, 2007

FCLC—Along with buying books and registering for classes, many Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) students are forced to look for a place to live before starting the school year. In fact, all incoming transfer students for this academic year were not offered housing, according to Keith Eldredge, dean of students at FCLC. Many transfers said Fordham is not doing enough to help.

“I  am living off-campus because I was denied housing,” said Dana Ferrero, FCLC ’10, who transferred to Fordham this year. “This made me seriously think twice about going to Fordham. It was a huge inconvenience and looking for a place in NYC as a sophomore in college was extremely difficult. Fordham didn’t help at all.”

When freshmen are offered housing at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC), they are guaranteed a spot for the remainder of their academic career, as long as their residency is uninterrupted. This retention policy is why transfer students are not offered housing until the exact number of returning students is determined, Eldredge said.

“For several years now, we haven’t offered transfers housing with their acceptance,” Eldredge said, “All transfers are told from the beginning that we don’t have housing and unfortunately we just don’t have enough space to accommodate everyone.”

Eldredge explained that transfers are put on the commuter waitlist and in years when fewer returning students retain housing, spaces are made available for transfers. This year, a higher number of returning students retained their spots and therefore, no waitlisted students were offered housing, he said.

As for alternative options, FCLC has an official arrangement with one Web site,, where landlords can post listings of apartments that they would like to rent to Fordham students, and students can search for roommates, according to Eldredge. This is the only site that is officially affiliated with Fordham and recommended to students, Eldredge said.

“Unfortunately it’s not a site where we can check every listing, but it’s a company that works with universities around the country,”  Eldredge said.

Allison Sottile, FCLC ’10, agrees Fordham is not doing enough to help. “As a transfer student I knew I wouldn’t receive housing on campus,” she said. “I wasn’t concerned, but my parents became really concerned about me being able to find an apartment. This made me think twice about attending Fordham because they were no help at all at finding reasonably priced apartments around the Fordham community.”

Joel Rowe, FCLC ’09 had a different experience. “Fordham did tell me about places4students and I was able to find a roommate through that site. Though it offers very little in the way of finding actual housing, it is a great tool for roommate hunting,” he said.

In addition to the Web site, the Office of Student Leadership and Community Development keeps a list of students living off-campus who are looking for roommates and puts students in touch with one another, Eldredge said.

“The main follow-up is through the students contacting us. It’s not really us reaching out to them,” Eldredge said.

Eldredge said that again next year, transfers will be told early in the process about the lack of housing, and the options that are available to them. “Next fall we’re going to be in the same situation,” Eldredge said.

Katie Feeney, FCLC ’10, said that living off-campus has been more than just a hassle and feels that something needs to change. “At first I was indifferent to the fact that I was denied housing. I live in Rockland County and thought that the commute would be easy,” she said. “But after coming to Fordham, I’ve realized that the fact that I live so far away and have to form my schedule around bus times has prevented me from joining clubs and limits the amount of activities I can participate in at school.”