UW-Madison offers returning students $5K to live off campus

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) — UW-Madison’s record-high freshman enrollment presents a double-edged sword — a renewed interest in getting a degree, but a real issue on where to put all those students.

The school has enough dorm rooms for about 9,000 people.

There were nearly 8,000 new freshmen students alone this year. The housing office got creative.

They turned double rooms into triples and converted lounges to bedrooms, too.

But when that wasn’t enough, they offered returning students several deals, including $5,000 to ditch the dorms.

“I liken it to a airplane flight that’s been overbooked, where you need to see who’s willing to take a different option and who needs to stay with the option they’ve selected,” said Brendon Dybdahl, director of marketing and communications, UW Housing. “And so, we offered a few incentives to our students if they were able to live off-campus.”

Two-hundred students took either the $5,000 or the free meal plan and 76 students took the free apartment option.

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