Dorms full as UNLV welcomes large freshman class

By Patrick Walker , Henry Takai

Published 08/24 2016 03:22PM

Updated 08/24 2016 08:58PM

Nineteen hundred students are settling into their dorms at UNLV after a busy day of moving in Wednesday.

Most are freshmen and part of the largest incoming class the university has ever had. That class is made up of around 4,000 students.

UNLV is a commuter school with less than 10 percent of the school's 29,000 students living on campus. But the recent surge is leaving the dorms bursting at the seams.

"I'm super excited, but I'm really nervous, like the campus is really big!" Allesa Chazelagmay said.

Before tackling the sprawling UNLV campus, incoming freshmen are tackling move in day.

"I'm really excited, it's a brand-new experience for me, it's overwhelming," freshman Ellie House said.

There are 1,869 students moving into the dorms which is maxing out student housing. Resident assistants are doubling up to free up extra rooms for more students.

"We are over 100 percent full," said Richard Clark, executive director, UNLV student housing.

Freshman enrollment has broken record levels each of the past five years. Clark says the reason for that is two-fold. First, the university is affordable. According to university estimates, a year at UNLV costs roughly $35,000 including books and housing.

That's about the same or cheaper -- for example -- than in-state school costs at most California public universities. Also, several of the programs at the university are gaining notoriety and attracting more students.

"We have a very strong nursing program, very strong hotel program, our business programs, our education programs, all of our programs are really well known," Clark said.

One of those programs caught Bradley Benavidez' eye making UNLV his first choice over universities in his home state of California.

"I wanted to come here because I heard about the nursing program, which is what I want to major in, and it's quite outstanding, best on the West Coast," he said.

There are still about 25 students who are without dorms. They are staying in hotels until spots open up on campus.

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