Record Number of U of M Students Living On Campus
More first-year students at the University of Minnesota are living on campus than ever before.
"I wanted to make more friends," reasoned freshman Maria Pjevach.
Freshman Adora Vang mentioned that "you get to do your own thing. It feels like you have your own place."
And fellow freshman Ben Pobiel said he lives on campus because "you're around more people, around more people with similar interests."
Maybe the reasons haven't changed much over the years, but the numbers have. Back in 1988, 25 years ago, university officials say fewer than 50 percent of their first-year students lived on campus. In 2012, the most recent numbers available, more than 85 percent of first-year students called campus home.
So what do the growing numbers mean for the school? Some affects are obvious, like the new residence hall on 17th Avenue.
"We put some students in temporary housing," explained Housing and Residential Life Associate Director Mannix Clark. "Our goal was to reduce that number of students in temporary housing. Also, we wanted to reach out and house some transfer students which we have not been able to house in the past."
Here's another not-so-obvious affect: it's not just housing that's going up -- the university says GPA's are too.
According to Clark, "research will show both on our campus and on other campuses that when a student lives on campus, that they have higher GPA's, that they are retained at a higher rate, and their graduation is higher."
So living near your friends is nice, but living near someone to study with might be even more valuable.
"The people that live across the hall from me are already helping me study for chemistry and calculus class," agreed Pjevach, "so it is definitely going to be a help."
Freshmen are not required to live on campus, but the university does guarantee housing for any first year student who wants to live on campus.