Research shows that pet ownership in the United States has significantly increased over the past three decades. In fact, according to Forbes Advisor, “As of 2023, 66% of U.S. households (86.9 million homes) own a pet.” Personally, it comes as no surprise with everything that has occurred in the last several years: the pandemic, rise in mental health and rate of inflation. So, what about college-bound animal lovers who own a pet and are looking for a pet-friendly college?
In the fall of 2023, NC Wesleyan University announced its plan to turn one residence hall into pet-friendly housing, thanks to a new program the University is piloting. This initiative allows students to keep their furry friends with them while living on campus, offering them the ability to still have access to the traditional campus life experience. One pet per student is allowed.
The unique program has proved to be popular among students, as spots in the residence hall filled up quickly with the announcement. NCWU plans to move forward in the upcoming 2024-2025 academic year continuing to offer pet-friendly housing. The University’s pet-friendly housing policy is for dogs, cats and fish. Dogs must weigh under 40 pounds and have no history of aggressive behavior. All dogs and cats are required to be vaccinated against rabies and other transmittable diseases and be on anti-parasite medication. No animals may roam the campus unattended. Fish tanks are limited to 5 gallons in volume.
In addition to the joy and companionship they bring, pets also teach time and obligation management. A great remedy for anxiety and homesickness, they provide many students more structure in their daily routine, including exercise and time outside. Not to mention they can be a great icebreaker for making new friends.
At NCWU, we are committed to providing a safe and well-maintained environment for all students residing in pet-friendly housing. It is the responsibility of the pet owner to protect the rights of all students, ensure a safe and healthy living and learning environment, as well as practice behaviors that support the upkeep of university facilities and beauty of the campus. Students who bring a pet to campus are responsible for understanding and abiding by the regulations of the pet policy. Every pet owner is encouraged to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of the campus environment for their pet.
By allowing resident students to bring their pet to live on campus, we aim to create a more balanced college experience and be the “Pet-Friendly College for Animal Lovers”. An environment that prioritizes health, wellness and connection.
If you’re a pet owner interested in college and can’t bear to leave your beloved animal companion behind, check out North Carolina Wesleyan University. The University’s Winter Open House is set for Saturday, February 3, 2024, and registration is underway.
During Open House, students learn more about scholarships and financial aid, have the opportunity to speak with faculty and current students, gain information on the admissions process and can take a campus tour. You can learn more at ncwu.edu/admissions.