Forced Tripple

So our daughter is now a freshman at HWS. She was placed in a forced triple. A room built for two, but “forced” into three students sharing the room. No mention of this possibility during a campus visit. The school’s response is that they expect that spaces will open up so that they can “de-triple” in the next 3 months. If that doesn’t happen she will get a credit of $800 at the book store and first choice for housing next year.

Really. $62k price tag and that is the best offer. Do the math. Everyone pays the same amount for room…although Board (food) may vary depending on the plan you choose. So assume that the cost of the room is $1000 per semester, per room. The kids who get a double pay $500 a piece. Kids who get forced into a forced triple also pay $500 a piece. That is $1500 for the same room, i.e, a $500 profit for that room.

That is assuming that the cost of the room is only $1000 which we know it is not. The whole assumption that space will open up is based on an assumption of a high Freshman attrition rate. Which brings to mind, why do they assume such a high attrition rate? Buyer beware. Ask these questions before you choose HWS over any other LAC.

Why stop with a forced triple? Lets go for a forced quad. Maybe enough kids will drop out or get kicked out to make space in the next 3 months.

That certainly sounds frustrating, and it seems to me that they ought to be providing an actual discounted/refunded room rate, not a ‘store credit’. That’s just tacky IMO.

I will say though, that my sister (many moons ago) ended up in a forced triple her freshman year. She got along so well with her roommates, that even when space opened up, they chose to just stay in the triple. So try not to let your frustration color your daughter’s experience…she might be just fine. Good luck.

It is still a fine school. Never the less, it is something that should be discussed and considered. Many of the other LAC in the HWS peer group do not triple or quad their students as freshman or at least that is not the norm. There is something troubling about an admission policy that admits more kids than they have room for (literally)
and presumes an attrition rate that will eventually result in detripling especially at an expensive private college. You would think that is the kind of thing you are paying to avoid.

We did two visits to HWS last year and also heard no mention of a triple. At two other schools we visited, the possibility of triples in traditional doubles was raised by the tour guides.

Your frustration is understandable. According to HWS, 643 new students matriculated in 2014 and 645 in 2015, so it is not as if they were caught unawares (unless, perhaps, the F to M ratio was significantly off). And 45% of the class of 2019 came in through ED, so they obviously had a pretty good idea of what their housing numbers would be. One has to wonder if they do this regularly. If that is the case, it should be disclosed beforehand. And the discount should be proportionate to the amount of money HWS is saving by tripling up.

Rooms don’t normally open up due to students dropping out, it’s usually about students spending a semester abroad starting in Jan and their rooms become available. I’m not talking about this school in particular, but this is what happens in most colleges

Are the kids in triples on Financial Aid? Why not discount the price?

I’d like to hear an update on your daughter’s status - did she move into a double? Is she happy now with the school?

She was “de-tripled” with one roommate moving out toward November. Very happy with the school. A rocky start at first but now loving it. So all is well.

Great to hear that it worked out - it is one of my son’s top choices.