• The University of Utah says it will ask alumni to rent rooms in their homes to current students for $5,000 per semester. 
  • The university hopes the "Home Away from Home" program will help with its "unprecedented" housing shortage. 
  • This is one of many fixes schools across the US are trying out to help solve student housing crises.

Student housing shortages are plaguing colleges and universities across the US, but the University of Utah says it has found a new way to help solve its "unprecedented" dilemma: by asking alumni to open their homes to students for $5,000 per semester. 

The program, called 'Home Away from Home,' will attempt to place sophomores, juniors, and seniors in homes of former students who live near the campus, and plans to match hosts to students with similar interests, according to a statement from the university. 

This story was first reported by The Salt Lake Tribune. 

Bethany Hardwig, from the university's office of alumni relations, told Insider that she hopes the program will help "prepare for future growth in a creative way." Hardwig said that about 130 alumni have already expressed interest in participating for the coming school year. 

According to the University of Utah's latest figure from the fall of 2021, its undergraduate population tops 34,000, and this spring, the waitlist for student housing grew to more than 3,000, according to Hardwig. 

The University of Utah is one of many colleges and universities in the US that faces a student housing crisis, with different schools coming up with solutions of varying success. The University of California, Santa Barbara, recently came under fire for planning a near-windowless dorm that will fit more than 4,000 students. Long Beach City College has resorted to hiring security guards to ensure the safety of a parking structure that some students use as an ad-hoc dormitory, according to Bloomberg. 

For the University of Utah, the student housing problem may become even more grim: the university's president, Taylor Randall, has said he plans to grow the student body to more than 40,000 in the near future. 

Read the original article on Business Insider