Providing housing and making connections

From growing the student body to more than 40,000 to positioning the University of Utah within the top 10 public universities in the nation, President Taylor Randall has ambitious plans for the U. With an increase in the student body on the horizon, the campus will also need to grow to accommodate more living spaces. While there are several new residential housing buildings in the works, new and creative options are also being explored.

“The Home Away from Home program matches students in need of housing with alumni along the Wasatch front who have space in their homes,” said Bethany Hardwig from the Office of Alumni Relations. “This not only provides students places to live but also helps them forge relationships in the larger University of Utah community.”

There are approximately 120,000 U alumni living within the vicinity of the university. This fall, the Home Away from Home program will place 100 sophomores, juniors and seniors in alumni homes with the hope of expansion in the future. Each alum chosen to house a student will receive $5,000 a semester.

Everyone involved in the Home Away from Home program will undergo a full background check and fill out a survey about their lives and interests. They can then connect with prospective matches on the Forever Utah Alumni Network to chat and decide if it feels like a good fit before moving forward. All arrangements and payments will be handled by the Office of Alumni Relations, with support from the Office of General Counsel and Risk Management.

“We want this to be an advantageous situation for all involved,” said Hardwig. “We want the students matched with the right alum for their situation, and vice versa. This isn’t just about finding spaces for bodies; it’s about making connections.”

If you are an alum, a member of the faculty or on staff at the university and interested in opening your home to a student in the coming fall semester, please fill out this survey and someone will be in touch with you.