We hope your summer has been an enjoyable one so far. We have been making plans for your arrival, and we write to update you on housing matters. Earlier this afternoon, you should have received your housing assignment from the Office of Residential Life and Learning (ORLL).
As admitted students confirmed their intention to attend Tufts this fall, we learned that the Class of 2025 will be slightly larger than anticipated. This situation is also occurring at other selective colleges and universities this year. To fulfill our commitment to house all first- and second-year students, the Office of Residential Life and Learning has leased space at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Medford to serve as an additional first-year residence that will accommodate approximately 100 incoming students.
The students who have been assigned this housing option were randomly selected and they have already been notified this morning.
We look forward to welcoming you to Tufts soon. We are including a list of questions and answers we have created about this situation. You can also find general information about residential life and move-in on our website. If you have additional questions or need additional information, our Residential Life staff will be happy to talk with you. You can reach us at ResidentialLife@tufts.edu.
With best wishes for your summer,
Camille Lizarríbar, JD, PhD
Dean of Student Affairs and Chief Student Affairs Officer for AS&E
Senior Director, Residential Life and Learning
Class of 2025 Housing Questions and Answers
Why is this happening?
The desire to attend Tufts has never been higher. We received 31,198 first-year applications, a 35 percent increase over the prior year. We admitted 11 percent of applicants this year compared with 16 percent the year before. All universities--including Tufts--admit more students than they anticipate enrolling based on historical models that predict how many of those students will change their plans to attend between April and September. In a normal year, a small number of students elect to attend college elsewhere, apply for a personal or medical leave, or request a gap year. That is not happening this summer as much as anticipated, and the predictive models are not as accurate. Admitted first-year students, for the most part, are not changing their minds this year.
Are other schools dealing with the same issue or is it just Tufts?
We understand that many highly selective colleges and universities across the country are finding that they have larger entering classes than their enrollment models predicted.
Will the need for increased housing at Tufts happen every year now?
Demand for campus housing consistently exceeds our capacity. We currently only guarantee housing for first- and second-year students and have limited capacity to house juniors, seniors and graduate students. For this reason, we are planning to expand our campus housing capacity through the construction of a new residence hall. The new residence hall will enable us to accommodate more of our students in the future and potentially alleviate pressure on the apartment rental market in our host communities.
Has this happened before at Tufts?
Yes. In 1978, the enrollment models at Tufts and other universities did not get the projections correct. Tufts housed students that year at the Sheraton Commander in Harvard Square.
Why are first-year students being chosen to be housed off-campus?
The need for additional housing is a direct result of an increased number of first-year students above our expectations. Because more first-year students have accepted our offer of admission than expected, we secured additional space for those additional students. Continuing students had already selected housing before first-year students had confirmed their attendance.
How did you pick the students who are being housed in hotels?
We assigned students to the hotels as we do to other housing on campus. This is done primarily based on the questionnaire that all students fill out that matches individuals with compatible roommates. The selection process was random among the pool of first-year students arriving on September 1.
Will students be required to stay in the hotel for the entire year or will it be possible for them to move to campus in the spring?
We anticipate that the students assigned to the Hyatt Place residence hall in Medford will remain there for the year.
Will you be giving students housed in the hotel a refund or reduction in housing costs?
No. The cost of providing these accommodations exceeds our current room fees and Tufts is absorbing those expenses.
What impact will this larger incoming class have on campus resources such as dining, academic advising, or the library?
While we believe our campus resources can accommodate these additional students, we will be closely monitoring all of our operations and will swiftly make adjustments as needed. Even in a normal year, dining can be a little challenging at the start of the fall semester until students develop their own unique schedules for when they arrive at the dining centers. This tends to even out after the first week or two.
What are you doing to ensure the students in the hotel will be integrated in activities and social experiences with students on campus?
The students housed in the hotel will be encouraged to participate fully in all of our campus programs, events, and activities alongside their first-year classmates. We don’t anticipate that their experience will be very different from the rest of the Class of 2025 with the exception of having to allow a little extra time to get to and from their residence.
Because the residential experience is such an important part of a Tufts education, will you give students the option of delaying their enrollment until next year if they don’t want to live in the hotel?
Students still have the option to apply for personal leave of absence but we would hope they would not consider doing so based solely on their housing assignment.
Will you give first-year students an exemption to live in off-campus housing if they don’t want to stay at the hotel?
Why can’t you use the Mods to house students on campus?
The “Mods” are temporary housing that was built on the university’s tennis courts to enable students who test positive for COVID-19 to quarantine. We are continuing to utilize the Mods for isolation and quarantine housing related to COVID-19.
How far is the Hyatt hotel from the Medford campus?
Less than one mile.
How will students get back and forth to campus?
A dedicated shuttle will provide frequent access from the Hyatt Place residence hall to the center of the Tufts Campus and also to the Davis Square T stop.
Will students have to be on campus for meals or will meals be available at the hotel?
Students living at the Hyatt Place residence hall will have regular campus meal plans, but a light breakfast will be available at the hotel daily for no extra cost. Additionally, the cafe/coffee shop in the hotel will accept JumboCash for students who wish to purchase coffee, a snack, or a late night food item.
Is the hotel and the surrounding area safe?
Medford and Somerville are generally safe, welcoming, and vibrant cities. However, our campuses and the Hyatt Place residence hall are located in the city center and students need to be aware of their surroundings and take some precautions. The university offers advice on living in a city setting to all first-year students during orientation. Tufts Public Safety is collaborating with the hotel’s existing security team and the Medford Police Department to enhance the safety of our students.
Who will students turn to if they need help from Tufts while living at Hyatt Place? Will there be an RA present? What about emergency services?
There will be Resident Assistants present on the floors of the Hyatt Place residence hall to assist and guide students just as they do in any of our residence halls. Student health and safety support will be managed directly through Tufts Health Service and Counseling and Mental Health, and Tufts Public Safety will work closely with Medford services for routine responses. As in the Medford/Somerville campus, local emergency services will also be available to respond.
Will other hotel guests be made aware that students are living at the hotel? Will the residential students have their own floor(s) or other section of the hotel away from regular guests? Will access to those floors be controlled?
Tufts students will be on several full floors of the Hyatt Place, which will be labeled as Tufts residential space. While there will be other guests at the hotel, the space designated for Tufts students will be clearly labeled and guests will be discouraged from entering the Tufts floors of the hotel. Students will have access to all common areas of the hotel including the pool, fitness center, lobby, and a specially designated common room exclusively for Tufts students on the ground floor of the hotel.