Demand goes down, prices up for rooms

The Trinity College Accommodation Office has received significantly fewer applications than last year, and has extended the deadline for room applications. At the time of going to print, the Accommodation Office had received 720 applications from undergraduates hoping to live on Campus, and 50 for Trinity Hall.
For the year 2009-2010, however, the Office received a total of 2,234 applications, although this also included postgraduate and international students. Even so, there are only 80 places for postgraduate students on Campus and none at all for international students, indicating a significant discrepancy for the following year. There are currently 700 rooms on Campus, although 285 of these are reserved for Scholars and students with other entitlements.
In an e-mail sent out on 8th March, the Accommodation Office explained that the deadline would be extended to one week later than the original date. A spokeswoman from the Office explained, “The application deadline has been extended for a number of reasons. A lot of students were having trouble with the online system of submitting an application, and for some reason couldn’t pay their application fee.
“We couldn’t see any problems with the system, but in the interests of fairness the deadline was extended”. The decision to extend the deadline was made by the Junior Dean, Dr. Emma Stokes. The spokeswoman added, “We were aware the deadline lay during reading week, when a lot of students would be away from College, and might not have been aware of the applications.” College have recently renovated 44 rooms on campus, which became available on 19th February.
Of these, 22 rooms were reserved for staff members. The remaining rooms, which were open only to Senior Sophisters who had been previously unsuccessful in the application process, have yet to be filled. As of Friday 12th March, 6 rooms remained available. The cost for rent and utilities was in excess of €1,745 for the period 19th February to 8th May.
The accommodation rates come to an average of €158 per week. This exceeds the current rate for the same Standard Room during Hilary and Trinity terms, which costs an average of €120 per week.
The spokeswoman from the Accommodation Office said she “expects the rooms to go by the end of the month”, and that students who had been unable to get rooms in September will be “happy to say yes in good time”.
The current rate for a room on Campus, including utilities, ranges from €2830.69 for a standard twin to €5079.13 for a modern single.
These prices were set by the College Board and approved by the Junior Dean in December 2008. The spokeswoman comments, “Any price rises will be in adaptation to the private sector.
“Because the Accommodation Office has to set the rates early it does not give us the ability of the private sector to adapt to the current market. The cost of rent and utilities has not risen any more than is usual.”