UCLA announced Thursday it will guarantee up to four years of housing in university-owned residences for incoming freshmen and two years for transfer students, beginning this fall.
The university said the expanded housing guarantee is possible because the campus is in the midst of expanding its housing inventory.
This fall, UCLA will open a 17-story high rise called Gayley Heights, along with the Laurel and Tipuana apartment buildings, which will collectively add 3,125 beds for undergraduates. In fall 2021, the opening of Centennial and Olympic residence halls added 1,800 beds.
"Living on or near campus contributes greatly both to students' educational experiences and to the richness of our community,'' said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. "This guarantee represents a crucial milestone for UCLA.''
The move -- which fulfills an aspiration that campus leaders first discussed in a student housing master plan in 1986 -- is the first such commitment among the University of California's nine undergraduate campuses.
"We want our students to know that if they wish, they have a home with us when they're enrolled at UCLA," said Pete Angelis, UCLA's assistant vice chancellor for housing and hospitality. "Secure housing plays a critical role in students' success, and we are excited to expand this much-needed resource. This is something we've worked incredibly hard to do for our Bruins.''
Angelis also said an expansion of graduate housing is in the works, beginning with the opening this fall of UCLA's new Palo Verde apartments, which will add more than 300 beds. Previously, UCLA offered three years of housing to students entering as freshmen, and one year to transfer students.
Currently, UCLA houses 14,500 undergraduates on campus, and another 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students, some with families, in off-campus apartments in Westwood Village and other nearby neighborhoods.
Living on or near campus is of particular importance because it helps students feel more connected to the institution and its academic, social and recreational activities, Angelis said, adding that UCLA housing is typically priced below market value.
The opportunity to lease for nine months -- as opposed to a year-round commitment -- and the inclusion of utilities including streaming service and Wi-Fi also make university-owned housing an attractive option for many students, Angelis said.