Faced with an unexpected housing crunch, one US college has taken a unique approach to freeing up space in dorm: Paying students to take a leave. Juniors and seniors who plan to live on-campus at Middlebury College in Vermont have been offered $10K USD to take the fall and winter terms off. Approximately 30 students will be able to claim the offer on a first-come, first-serve basis. These students will be given preferential status for the housing draw for Spring 2024. The issue is not expected to be a long-term one: Students were given sweeping permissions to take a leave of absence during the pandemic, which delayed graduation dates and inadvertently created a temporary “pile-up” of demand for on-campus housing. The college had also explored using space at its secondary campus or converting buildings to housing, but ultimately decided against these solutions due to factors such as costs, timeline, and student feedback.