EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan State University students will be required to live on-campus for two years instead of one beginning in Fall 2021.
The new extension re-instates a two-year living requirement that has been waived at MSU since the 1980s.
This reinstatement is another MSU initiative aimed at helping students persist and graduate, according to the university.
Additionally, university administrators have spent several years examining the student success outcomes of on- and off-campus living for undergraduate students.
Studies conducted by MSU’s Office of Institutional Research shows undergraduates who live on campus their first two years at MSU have graduation rates about 2.5 percentage points higher than their peers who live on campus only their first year. T
The difference in graduation rates between students who live on or off-campus in their second year is larger for students from some underserved groups, almost 10 percentage points.
“Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we, as an institution, act in ways that support our students and their success at Michigan State,” says Senior Vice President for Auxiliary Enterprises Vennie Gore. “Reinstating the second-year live-on requirement will help us better equip our students with the tools they need, while in a supportive and safe environment, to help them succeed.”
Still, this decision to require students to live on campus for a second year raises some eyebrows as a similar request came this summer when MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. advised MSU Students who planned to live in campus dorms this fall to stay home and continue their education remotely.
The letter mentioned that refunds or credits would l be issued to individuals who have already paid for the fall semester, but didn’t go into detail about how those refunds would be issued, if they’ll cover just tuition, just housing, or both.
When the pandemic hit Michigan in March, MSU said it would give a $1,120 refund to students who leave dorms and other university housing. A university spokesperson said students could get the refund in one of three ways: a credit for housing for next fall, a credit for the dining plan for next year, or as a direct deposit.
The Division of Residential and Hospitality Services’ supports the second-year-living requirement initiative and has developed programs such as Spartan Compass, which focuses on the first-year experience, and Spartan Navigator, which focuses on the second-year experience (though was delayed due to COVID-19), to provide support for students during their first two years of college.
“We continue to work closely with academic partners on bringing living-learning communities and classes into the halls, as well as with campus partners to bring diverse, quality educational opportunities into our spaces,” says Executive Director of Residence Education and Housing Services Ray Gasser, Ph.D. “I look forward to refining and expanding our efforts with first- and second-year students to support their Spartan success.”
Currently, first-year students are required to live on campus their first two semesters, or one academic year. The second-year live-on requirement will begin with the first-year entering class of fall 2021. Existing residence hall residents and the first-year incoming class of fall 2020 are exempt. Students who transfer to MSU will continue to be required to live on campus unless they meet the exception criteria.
The second-year live-on requirement that currently exists at MSU can be found in the Housing Requirements and Procedures section of the Spartan Life Student Handbook.
The requirement has not been enforced since the early 1980s, when former MSU President Cecil Mackey informed the MSU Board of Trustees the administration would continue waiving the second-year live-on requirement for students — a waiver that had been implemented when university enrollment was at its peak.