Custodian of Policy: Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Affairs
Relevant Minnesota State System Policy: 2.10 Student Housing
Effective Date: Fall 2015
Last Review: New Policy
Next Review: TBD
MSU Moorhead is committed to providing a comprehensive educational experience for students. In accordance with this commitment, data indicate that first-year students who live on campus earn higher grade point averages and are more likely to persist at MSU Moorhead. As a result, for the 2015-2016 academic year, all New Entering Freshman (NEF) as well as any student who received a high school diploma on January 2015 or later, including those students who transferred to MSU Moorhead in the Spring Term after attending one semester at another institution, are required to live on campus their first year. A New Entering Freshman is defined as a student attending any institution for the first time at the undergraduate level. This includes students enrolled in the fall term who attended college for the first time in the prior summer term. This also includes students who entered with advanced standing (college credits earned through PSEO or Advanced Placement programs).
Students may qualify for an exemption to the policy if one or more of the following conditions exist. Decisions will be made by Director of Housing and Residential Life, or designee, or referred to the Housing Exemption Review Board:
Extenuating circumstances may be considered for the following situations. Supporting documentation will be required. Decisions will be made by the Housing Exemption Review Board.
Students who believe they qualify for an exemption based on one or more reasons must submit the Housing Exemption Request form to Housing and Residential Life. The completed form must be received by Housing and Residential Life no later than 30 days prior to the first day of classes. Providing false information to MSU Moorhead is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct; violators will be subject to disciplinary action. Students who are found to have provided false information will be required to move into an on-campus residence hall. Students are encouraged not to make any other commitments for housing until they receive a written response to their request for exemption, as having already signed a lease with an off-campus landlord or purchasing a home will not be considered reason for an exemption.
New Entering Freshman (NEF): a student attending any institution for the first time at the undergraduate level. This includes students enrolled in the fall term who attended college for the first time in the prior summer term. This also includes students who entered with advanced standing (college credits earned through PSEO or Advanced Placement programs).
Admitted students will receive materials from Housing and Residential Life that include a Housing and Dining Contract as well as information about the on-campus living experience. A link to the First-Year Live-On Campus Policy on the Housing and Residential Life website will be noted in a cover letter that introduces the enclosed materials. Students interested in applying for an exemption will be able to login and fill out the Housing Exemption Request form. As noted in the policy language, exemption requests will be reviewed and decided either by the Director of Housing and Residential Life, or designee, or by the Housing Exemption Review Board. The Housing Exemption Review Board will be comprised of individuals able to assess extenuating circumstances such as the ability to accommodate medical conditions and disabilities, financial hardship, and special needs. Those applying for exemption will receive notification of decision regarding their request in writing.
National data shows that students who live on campus during their first year earn higher grade point averages and are retained at higher levels. This trend also applies at MSU Moorhead.
NEF GPA Comparison
The following table shows term grade point averages for new entering freshman who lived on campus (Resident NEF) compared to those who lived off-campus (Non-Resident NEF):
Retention Rates of Resident NEF
The following table shows retention rates for Resident NEF, indicating the number who enrolled in the spring semester, their second year, third year, fourth year, and fifth year (as applicable):
Retention Rates of Non-Resident NEF
The following table shows retention rates for Non-Resident NEF, indicating the number who enrolled in the spring semester, their second year, third year, fourth year, and fifth year (as applicable):
NEF Retention Rates Comparison
In all cases, retention rates of Resident NEF were higher than those of Non-Resident NEF. The following table shows the percentage difference between Resident NEF retention and Non-Resident NEF:
Although the proposed policy does not suggest requiring second year students to live on campus, data indicates students who live on campus for two years earn higher grade point averages and have higher retention rates than students who live on campus for only one year.