It seems like Ohio University’s free summer housing program is falling into the water.

Few International Students Seeking Free Summer Housing

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It’s been more than a month since Ohio University offered free summer housing for students from the six countries listed in President Trump’s travel ban.

Vice President for Student Affairs Jason Pina.
Vice President for Student Affairs Jason Pina.

And so far only two students have taken up the offer, according to Vice President for Student Affairs, Jason Pina.

“The last time I checked which was last week was there was two people that said: I think I’m interested in doing that but there hasn’t been this overwhelming number of students that come forward,” Pina said.

Students from Iran, Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, and Libya are eligible for the housing support.

According to numbers from OU’s Office of Institutional Research 82 students from those countries are currently enrolled at OU.

Mohammadreza Heidari is the president of the Iranian Student Society (ISS) – the largest group of students affected by the ban.

Click picture to see the full chart size.
Click picture to see the full chart size.

He said most students aren’t taking advantage of the offer because they already have twelve-month leases with non-university housing companies.

Heidari says free summer housing is a nice offer, but paying their existing rent or other financial assistance would be more helpful.

“I want to ask Ohio University to help a little more like wave our tuition fee and general fee for those affected students during the summer. And also make this option for those students who cannot find a sublease for their apartment to help them by paying their rent,” Heidari said.

The university says, for now, summer housing is how it is choosing to help those students impacted by the ban, but isn’t ruling out other options in the future.

Mohammadreza Heidari, president of the Iranian Student Society (ISS).
Mohammadreza Heidari, president of the Iranian Student Society (ISS).

In an email University Communications and Marketing wrote: “The University looks forward to a continued exploration of possible campus support options to help those within our international community.”

According to Pina, the housing costs will be paid out of an emergency fund.

Parents of students, alumni, and current employees have donated into this fund to help students that are in need, he said.

Affected students who are interested in free summer housing should contact their adviser in Global Affairs or ISFS.

The advisers will help them then with their summer plans.