Undergraduates at College Park joined the back-to-school movement this week, lugging themselves and their belongings--including computers for 83 percent of them--into campus dorms and nearby motel rooms. The move-in took place Friday through Monday, with fall semester classes starting yesterday.

This semester, the College Park campus of the University of Maryland is providing rooms for 8,408 students. These quarters include 25 rooms at the Inn and Conference Center of the University of Maryland University College, at the northern edge of campus, and 64 rooms at the Quality Inn, on Route 1 three blocks south of campus.

The university has leased the motel's high-rise building, which it is calling Terrapin Towers.

Despite the motel rooms--fewer than were leased by the university last year--another 1,000 students who applied for university housing have had to look elsewhere.

To help rectify the housing shortage, the university has entered into a contract with a developer to construct a complex, to be called University Courtyard, off University Boulevard. The 704-bed complex is to be ready for fall 2000 occupancy.

The apartments are to be built on the former 12-acre site of Monte's Miniature Golf.