Early results of the University of Guelph’s plan to grow enrolment are taking shape as it prepares to welcome the 2024 incoming class to its Guelph campus in the fall. This strategic growth aims to enhance the University’s financial sustainability and support academic and research excellence, and an enriched student experience.    

According to data from the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC), just over 7,000 Ontario high school students have accepted offers of admission to U of G’s main campus. While these numbers will fluctuate over the summer, the University is anticipating a higher enrolment number compared to last year. 

“We targeted higher enrolment numbers for fall 2024, but also had an exceptional response in the number of students who want to come to the University of Guelph,” said Dr. Gwen Chapman, provost and vice-president (academic). “As we prepare to welcome the incoming class of 2024, we remain committed to academic excellence across programs and to delivering the unique student experience we are known for.” 

In alignment with the University’s growth strategy, planning has been underway to support this larger cohort and ensure all students enjoy a holistic and enriching experience. Proactive initiatives include revenue-sharing with the University’s colleges to fund academic supports, optimizing course scheduling and use of our physical infrastructure, and scaling up the provision of non-academic services such as student wellness supports. The University is committed to supporting the personal, professional, and academic development of every student, ensuring their success and wellbeing throughout their time here.   

High demand for student housing 

At the same time, the University is responding to a greater-than-expected demand for on-campus housing. This year U of G will accommodate 85 per cent of all students who applied for residence and of those accommodated 95 per cent are Ontario students; however, higher than anticipated acceptances means the University won’t be able to accommodate everyone who applied for housing. 

In anticipation of higher enrolment, the University added housing inventory in its North, South, East and West residences. Also, for the second year in a row, it is leasing a former hotel on Gordon Street to add additional capacity, and exploring options that may allow for community partnerships toward an expansion of off campus spaces for fall.  The University is also actively working to intensify housing on university-owned land. 

The University of Guelph does not guarantee housing. Knowing on-campus housing is an important factor for many when selecting a university, the University began communicating as early as April with applicants who did not have a confirmed spot in residence so they could consider all of their options and have more time to explore off-campus housing.

For students for whom living in residence is an essential part of their university selection, early notification to confirm whether students had a residence confirmation was intended to allow them time to consider their choices before the university acceptance deadline. Information about a waitlist was then shared last week with students who have not received a residence confirmation. 

As of June 10, U of G Housing staff began connecting with students and their families about their spot on the residence waitlist, along with information about expanded supports for students who live off-campus. 

“We understand the uncertainty that comes with not receiving a residence confirmation,” says Melinda Scott, vice provost, student affairs. “U of G is committed to supporting students with information about off-campus housing and a suite of other services to help make their transition to university and their first year successful.” 

For students who have not yet received a residence confirmation for fall, the University’s Off-Campus Living team is available to help and the University’s Student Experience team has a variety of supports and connections for off-campus and commuting students.