For the first time in years, more students have applied to live in College Houses than there are spaces available.

The exact number of applicants applying to each of the eight houses has not yet been tallied, but overall, 218 students turned in applications for the approximately 200 vacancies next year.

According to Director of Residential Life Kim Pacelli, MacMillan House and Howell House are the most popular choices this time. Reed House has generated the least amount of interest.

Reed House, along with Burnett House, was just added to the College House system this year in order to accommodate affiliates from the two new first-year dorms. According to Pacelli, Reed House has had a "successful year," but for some reason, it did not attract many applicants for residency next year. To the contrary, Pacelli said that Burnett has fared well in terms of application numbers.

According to Burnett House President Keri Forbringer, while it was difficult to create a house community from scratch, residents have been reaching out to first-year affiliates since the beginning of the year.

"We tried to establish a relationship with first-year affiliates to get people to come to our house and want to be there next year," she said. "At the beginning of the year we barbecued beer-can chicks with our affiliates."

Of the 218 applicants, 192 are rising sophomores, 23 are rising juniors, and three are rising seniors. Twenty-two of the applicants for College Houses are currently living in one of the houses.

"To have 10 percent of the pool to be returners, that's fantastic," Pacelli said.

The majority of students who have applied to college houses for next year applied in "blocks." Blocks are groups of up to four students who are either granted or denied residency in a house as a unit. Although blocks used to have an eight member cap, the number was reduced last year when the college house application process was revamped.

"Over time we had noticed that big blocks were contributing negatively to house dynamics," Pacelli said.

Decisions about residency are made by a committee for each house, consisting of one staff member from Residential Life, one resident of the house, and one resident of another house. The team is advised by another house resident, the house's proctor, and a faculty adviser.

The committee strives to select an equal ratio of men and women for each house.

"I think it's important to have a mix of people from all walks of Bowdoin life [in each house]," Pacelli said.

Group interviews for applicants will take place on Saturday and decisions will be made by April 4.