Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2019


Introduction: Living on campus is considered a high impact practice for student success. Student success is believed to emerge from “the amount of physical and psychological energy that the student devotes to the academic experience” (Astin, 1984), housing and residence life programming facilitates this type of devotion. However, creating this type of living experience requires administrators understand the complexities of how housing can affect specific student groups and their decision to either persist at or leave an institution. This report explores the impact of housing and residence life at Utah State University on students living on campus. It disaggregates results to identify which segments of students benefit most and it explores the impact by living community and dormitory style.

METHODS: Students who lived on campus were compared to similar students who did not live on campus. They were compared using prediction-based propensity score matching. This technique matched students who lived on campus with non-users based on their persistence prediction and their propensity to participate. The difference between predicted and actual persistence rates were compared using difference-in-difference testing. FINDINGS: Students were 98% similar following matching. Those who lived on campus were significantly more likely to persist at USU than similar students who did not live on campus, (DID = 0.0119, p < .001). The unstandardized effect size can be estimated through student impact. It is estimated that housing assisted in retaining 46 (CI: 21 – 71) students each year who were otherwise not expected to persist.