University of Colorado freshman Axel Urie, in his dorm room at Arnett Hall, will return to on-campus housing next year. ‘It s so convenient,’ Urie said. ‘Being on campus makes it easier to attend campus events and take advantage of opportunities offered for students.’

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Visit: to reapply for housing.

Deadline: Re-applications are due by March 31.

While most University of Colorado freshmen are scouring Boulder for off-campus housing for the fall, freshman Axel Urie has already snagged a newly renovated unit in a prime location on campus.

Urie will return to resident hall living as a sophomore, with a remodeled room in CU’s Smith Hall.

Urie said he knows staying on campus isn’t the typical housing situation for sophomores, but the advantages will make it worth at least one more academic year in the dorms.

“It’s so convenient,” Urie said. “Being on campus makes it easier to attend campus events and take advantage of opportunities offered for students.”

And while Urie is convinced that living on campus is the best option for him, university housing is hoping to instill the same attitude in upperclassmen with new programs in the residence halls geared toward non-freshmen, said John Fox, assistant director of resident life at CU.

During the 2010-11 academic year, 12 percent of students living in residence halls were upper division students, Fox said, making the majority of residents freshmen. The campaign is part of CU’s Flagship 2030 Plan, which has a goal of 20 percent upper-division students living in residential colleges.

After increasing residence hall capacity for the upcoming academic year, Fox said housing officials are hoping to fill the extra space with a more diverse community of students.

CU Housing is introducing a sophomore program — Sophomore Peer Initiative Network — this fall to address the specific needs and concerns of second-year students in Willard Hall.

A pilot program began this spring to help transfer students in the dorms get acclimated to the campus. The program will continue next year in Williams Village and Sterns West.

CU junior James Boyd transferred to Boulder last summer and has lived in Baker Hall since. He said the dorms were ideal for him when he moved to Boulder, unfamiliar with the students and atmosphere of the campus community.

But even after a year at CU, Boyd said he will stay in the dorms next year because of the convenient location, dining halls and friendly atmosphere.

Fox said despite an aggressive awareness campaign and recent reapplication hype across campus, getting upper classmen into the dorms will not be an easy task.

“Part of the challenge is about the culture change,” Fox said. “It will take time for upper classmen to see on-campus housing as an option.

“In general, it’s not something many students have taken advantage of in the past,” he said. “We want them to know we’d like them on campus and we’ve created some new opportunities for them.”

Other housing programs to begin this fall include two sustainability programs and healthy lifestyles program that will include information about outdoor activities and nutrition, all in Williams Village. These programs are also open to freshmen, but are expected to connect students from various levels and majors, Fox said.

Students returning to the residence halls after their freshman year also get priority housing with a better chance of being placed in a single room, remodeled hall or prime location, Fox said.

Urie is looking forward to getting a renovated room next fall but said having a flat cost instead of varying utility and cable bills every month is also easier to budget.

And while students like Urie said the cost of campus living is worth the benefits, other students said they will continue to look for the cheapest option.

CU junior Nick Collins moved out of the dorms as soon as he finished his freshman year.

“I live in a nice house on the Hill with my friends and I pay significantly less then I did in the dorms,” Collins said.

Collins said the dorms were crowded with students, putting residents at risk for spreading viruses and creating uncomfortable living spaces with little privacy. But for Collins, cost and comfort weren’t the only reasons to move off-campus.

“Moving out of the dorms is another factor of growth,” Collins said. “It’s a new level of life to be living in your own house or apartment. It’s nice to be managing how you live on your own versus having RAs or campus security watching out for you in the dorms.”

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