Published: Aug. 1, 2018

Ann SchmiesingAs part of our efforts to better support you during your studies at CU Boulder, the Graduate School partnered in the 2017-2018 academic year with various campus offices to explore short-term and long-term options for improving the housing situation. To ensure that we are pursuing options that best address graduate students’ needs, in April 2018 the Graduate School collaborated with Institutional Research to send a housing survey to 4874 graduate students via an online survey platform.

At the close of the survey, 1676 students had responded, yielding a response rate of more than 34%. I am writing to share the highlights of the survey results and our plans for addressing graduate students’ housing needs.

Highlights from Survey Results

  • 88% of survey respondents live off campus and 12% on campus.
  • 64% of respondents live within 5 miles of campus, about 20% are between 5-15 miles of campus, and nearly 16% live more than 15 miles from campus. 
  • Proximity to campus, cost, safety, and access to transportation were factors that respondents ranked mostly in the “Extremely Important” and “Very Important” categories, indicating that these are the top concerns for graduate students. 
  • 51% indicated that they are satisfied with their current housing and not looking for new housing options, 29% are satisfied but looking for different housing, and 20% are actively searching for different housing.  

Plans for Improving Graduate Students’ Housing Needs

  • To address increased request for on-campus graduate student housing, CU Boulder Graduate and Family Housing is adjusting housing priorities to enable additional graduate students to live in Graduate and Family Housing in fall 2018.
  • Athens North residence hall will be converted to graduate housing for single graduate students, effective fall 2019.
  • CU Boulder Housing and Dining Services has begun to develop a housing facility masterplan, which includes exploration of a new graduate housing facility.
  • To provide input into the Athens North conversion and the housing facility masterplan, Graduate and Family Housing has formed a standing committee that includes graduate students and Graduate School representation.
  • As CU Boulder works on its next campus masterplan, the Graduate School will partner with campus administration and United Government of Graduate Students (UGGS) leaders to ensure that graduate students’ housing needs are represented.
  • We will continue to explore options including new construction, renovation, and leasing of housing facilities to help meet our graduate students’ housing needs.

Thank you to the many graduate students who participated in the housing survey. Although there are no quick solutions to address the high cost of housing in and around Boulder, your participation in the survey will help us articulate graduate housing priorities going forward. I invite you to discuss these findings among your UGGS leadership, with whom I meet on a regular basis. And, if you have further questions or concerns, you can reach me at


Ann Schmiesing
Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Affairs