Slowing the sophomore slide: do second-year on-campus residency requirements predict student success factors?
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Residential living requirements benefit students in a variety of meaningful ways. Living on campus can be an effective conduit in helping college students feel more committed and connected to their institutions. Existing research has demonstrated that students who live on-campus tend to be retained at higher rates, achieve higher grade point averages, and are more likely to graduate in four years. Some colleges in the United States have live-on requirements to help maximize the benefits of these academic outcomes for students. Presently, it is unclear if those benefits are extended to students who live-on campus for more than one year. At the same time, universities are adding two-year residential requirements with the hope that second-year students will experience the same or improved success increased outcomes as first-year students. There are relatively limited comprehensive research projects on student housing, and even fewer projects which study academic and student success outcomes of sophomore (second year) students. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of the relationship between living on-campus for the first two years of college and key measures of student success. The study utilized quantitative methodology with a non-experimental comparative design. Variables known to influence retention and graduation rates were analyzed via hierarchical multiple regression analysis and those predictors were used to test models to determine the extent to which there was a significant positive relationship between living on campus for two years and select metrics. Living on campus for two years was found to be a statistically significant positive predictor of retention, GPA, graduation, and student involvement. Future research could address the limitation of the study being conducted at a single institution and hopefully demonstrate broader generalizability.