UVic reaches capacity: January applications closed two months early

Campus News
UVic biblio campus
Photo by Noelle Collins Photography.

Classes are full, folks: the University of Victoria is no longer accepting new undergraduate applicants for January 2022, saying that they have “reached capacity” amidst an increase in applications. The application closure comes two months in advance of the previously posted deadline of September 30. 

Prospective students that have started an application for a January entry but have not yet finalized or submitted their application will have to delay their entry date until Summer or Fall 2022. These applications open on September 30, and students who have already submitted an application for January 2022 will be contacted by the university by email regarding their status. 

The following faculties and programs are affected: Computer Science, Art History and Visual Studies, Health Information Science, and all programs offered by faculties in Humanities, Science, and Social Sciences. Graduate students are less affected by these changes: UVic’s graduate programs are continuing to receive applications.

A typical fall term sees about 4 300 new students on campus each year, said Tony Eder, Executive Director of Academic Resource Planning at UVic. 

“As we emerge from COVID, we have an increase to about 4 800 new undergraduates,” said Eder in a statement to the Martlet. “Given our large fall intake, we’ve decided to limit the number of new students entering in January.”

The January term usually only sees 700 to 800 new students. With a larger fall cohort and increased overall enrollments this year, UVic has decided to limit the January intake, said Eder. The university confirmed that this decision was not due to a lack of instructors: UVic says they have not seen an increase in professors taking study leave.

After more than a year of extended online learning brought on to the pandemic, classes starting in September are largely in person. With limited housing supply on campus and in the city, UVic students are now scrambling to get prepared for the upcoming year.

UVic is anticipating a higher load to campus services this year — the OneCard office is expected to issue an estimated 11 000 student identification cards in the coming months. This is approximately 63 per cent more than a typical year, according to a UVic notice. The total undergraduate and graduate student population as of 2021 is just a little over 22 000, according to UVic’s website. Previously, students could just walk up to the office and get their card. Now, students have to pre-book a timeslot.

The university is no longer offering a first-year guarantee to on-campus housing. First-year undergraduate students are now placed in a priority lottery. As of July 19, Residence Services is still waiting on those with lottery numbers in the 600s to accept or deny their offers. 2 100 beds will be offered, of which the university says that over 95 per cent or 1 995 beds are reserved for first-year students. There are also a limited number of beds reserved for student staff, such as Community Leaders, and priority accommodations for students with chronic illness or disabilities. Graduate and law students are placed in a separate housing lottery for a separate housing pool. 

For undergraduate students that do not fall into the priority or first-year lottery, there is a second lottery. Students from that lottery will only get a housing offer when the priority lottery has been cycled through. 

Meanwhile, students and their parents are seeking advice on social media and looking for off-campus housing in a city in the midst of a rental crisis. The university has a webinar tomorrow to support student renters and those new to Victoria on navigating the rental market in Greater Victoria.