MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Minnesota is working to make room for its largest freshmen class since 1970.

The university has more than 6,000 freshman enrolled this year, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported .

The university has reserved its dorms for freshman since the 700-bed Pioneer Hall is unavailable due to construction. The university has also turned hundreds of school-run into dorm housing.

Mannix Clark, the associate director of operations for housing and residential life, said that just less than 90 percent of freshmen have applied to live in a dorm.

However, some students will be in smaller spaces. Clark said about 80 students will be housed in discounted rooms, which will have two students in a large single room or three students sharing a double. They’ll likely have the chance to switch into other rooms as students drop out of school.

Despite the housing crunch, common area in dorms, such as TV lounges, won’t be converted into bedrooms, Clark said.

Returning or transfer students have the option of living at two privately owned apartment buildings that the university has signed master leases with. The Radius and Keeler apartment buildings will offer students some of the academic and social programming found at on campus dorms.

Room and board rates have increased 4.5 percent since last year. The increase is partially due to the $105 million Pioneer Hall renovation. A double room costs just under $2,800 per semester while a common meal plan costs less than $2,000.

Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com

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