2020 was an absolute peak year, with a whopping 1703 registrations. RSC/RVSV was the biggest then (and now) with 689 applications. This year, only 410 students applied to the studentencorps. Rotterdam’s second largest society, Laurentius, also saw a significant drop in applications from 540 in 2020 to 355 now. Similar declines can also be seen at SSR-R and NSR, although the figures are generally similar to last year. At RSG, the final figures are not yet known, but they are also likely to be lower than in 2020.
The spike during corona was explained by students looking for ways to still have social contacts during lockdowns. The current drop is not entirely explained by the pandemic: in 2019, a year before the virus broke out, there were more applications than now, albeit only slightly more than now (1175 to about 1100).
Reintroduction of basic grant
The drop is unexpected for many associations, as they were actually counting on more interested students due to the reintroduction of the basic study grant this year. As a result, first- and second-year students have a bit more to spend, for instance on association membership fees, and need to spend less time on side jobs.
Incidentally, the membership of the associations will not decrease much compared to previous years: in recent years, most of them had more applications than places. RSC/RVSV, for example, allowed only 380 new members in 2020; this year the corps is not drawing lots and all 410 applicants will be allowed to join. At Laurentius, all 355 applicants are also allowed to join, but that is still 55 more than in 2020. Therefore, there is no panic: the RSC president called it ‘pleasant’ that they do not have to disappoint anyone.