LOGAN – As a new school year approaches, students will soon arrive in Logan to get settled for another year at Utah State University. About 22 percent of USU students will live in on-campus housing, and some might argue that this 22 percent will excel academically due to their housing decision.
“The students that live on campus do much better academically than those that live off campus,” said USU Housing and Residence Life Executive Director Steve Jenson.
According to <a href=”http://www.usu.edu/housing/docs/Fall2011GPAandCreditHoursReport.pdf” target=”_blank”>USU’s statistics from 2011</a>, students living on campus did have a better grade point average and take more credit hours than those students living elsewhere. Jenson said that the numbers for 2012 show even more improvement, especially for freshmen and sophomore students.
“We’re very focused on helping the students succeed,” added Jenson. “About 10 percent of our budget goes toward helping students. We provide a lot more than just a place for people to sleep.”
Some other things provided for those living on campus include: activities and social gatherings, scholarships, and free tutoring.
“We’re going to do everything we can to help students feel comfortable here at Utah State, have it be a welcoming environment, and also one where they’ll be proud to be an Aggie,” said Jenson.
Kylee Lowe is one USU student who has lived both on and off campus. “What I liked about on campus is that it was students who were my age and it was extremely social. It was also easy to find study partners because more than likely, someone in my building had a class with me,” said the senior who is studying Psychology. However, she added that there was a downfall to living on campus. “It was loud all the time, making it difficult to focus. Off campus was nice because I could count on it being quiet, making it easier to get my homework done.”
Senior Katie Felix Kasparian also stated that living on campus her freshman year helped her meet people. “I got to know other freshmen, which was nice because I didn’t come to school with any friends from home. However, I really wouldn’t say it helped me as a student. Nobody around me really took classes too seriously yet, so it was hard to have motivation to study.”
While Jenson believes there are many benefits to living on campus, he said there are still some great places to live off campus as well, on-campus housing just has a different focus. He also realizes there might be some outside factors that help students living on campus do better in their classes.
“I think the biggest difference is that we have students who are more focused on their education. We don’t have as many part-time students that are only taking just a few credits. Our students are here to get an education and I think they are more focused that way than some that may have to work multiple jobs and just take a couple classes here and there,” explained Jenson.
This is not to say students living on campus don’t hold part-time or full-time jobs, but Jenson said they encourage students to work on USU’s campus, making it easier for them to complete homework and get to their classes. Students living off campus may have families or jobs that make it hard for them to be full-time students.