At Brigham Young University, one of the most challenging tests some students will take has nothing to do with physics or English or engineering.
It is a test of patience.Hundreds of students have attached their names to what's commonly known at BYU as The Waiting List, a sign-up sheet for on-campus family housing. If you want to live on-campus, get in line.
Of course, a rudimentary background in math and economics helps in understanding the problem. It's a matter of supply and demand: Many married and married-to-be students, relatively few apartments.
In fact, on-campus family housing has been booked for years, so the early bird gets the room. You don't have to be wed or even engaged to apply - nor do you even have to be dating someone in particular.
Besides, there's plenty of time to remedy that one minor technicality.
Students know exactly what they are getting into when they apply. The on-campus housing application informs applicants to expect a wait of at least a year before any apartments become available. Parents of missionaries who are still in the field have been known to sign their children up on The List. No sense in procrastinating, right?
Sunday, President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, dedicated Wyview Park, a 426-unit complex that opened earlier this year. While Wyview, located at 1999 N. University Ave., is able to accommodate more families, there are many more anxiously awaiting their turn.
"Before it was announced that Wyview was going to be built (a few years ago), the list had approximately 900 names," said Bart Stoddard, manager of the BYU Housing business office. "Within a few months, that increased to 1,800, which is what we have now."
For decades, Wymount Terrace, a 898-unit complex located on the northeast edge of campus, and a trailer park were the only option for married students. Wyview Park was built on the site where the trailer park used to be.
"We've gone from 150 trailers to 450 apartments," said manager of student housing Garry Briggs. "We're glad to offer students options they didn't have before."
Some married students, like David and Becky Borough, waited about a 1 1/2 years for their opportunity to move in, which they did in February. They were pleased when they received word they would be able to live at Wyview.
"Compared to the last place we lived in, this is like a castle," Becky Borough said. "We used to live in a converted barn-stable. We were totally excited. We like being close to the stadium. We knew it would be worth the wait."
Troy Kingford and his wife, Vickie, and their 2-year-old daughter also waited about 18 months. "We were excited to move to student housing," Troy said. "We love the new appliances. It's close to school and close to where my wife works."
Rent at Wyview is a little higher than at Wymount. A two-bedroom apartment at Wyview runs $470 compared to $415 at Wymount. "We're paying the same price here as we were living at the converted barn-stable," Borough said.
Wyview apartments are slightly bigger than Wymount, have more storage space and include a highly valued amenity not found at Wymount - air conditioning.
One of the requirements for qualifying for and remaining in on-campus housing is that one member of the household must be a full-time student. "As long as that is the case," Stoddard said, "there are no limits to how long they can stay." Which partly explains The Waiting List.
And there is proof that plenty of single students sign up early to reserve a family housing space. "We've been married four years," Kingsford said, "and a lot of people in our ward have only been married about four months."
Looks like some students simply planned ahead.