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Finding an apartment in Fort Collins is almost a contact sport these days. Hesitate even slightly with that deposit or lease and someone will elbow you out of the way.

Alisha McGinnis went to eight different apartments throughout Fort Collins on Tuesday and came away empty-handed. The disabled Navy veteran will enroll at Front Range Community College this summer through the GI Bill. With less than $1,100 in monthly benefits, McGinnis said she can afford to pay about $850 a month, including utilities.

Ron Throupe, a professor at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business and co-author of the vacancy survey, said the numbers can change from quarter to quarter depending on how many survey responses it gets from each community. In March, 4,999 surveys from throughout Fort Collins were returned, a couple hundred more than the fourth quarter of 2012.