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Making the choice of where to live while in college is frequently acknowledged as one of the most important decisions an undergraduate student makes. Housing decisions influence students' access to campus resources and social integration, elements thought to be key indicators of their progression towards graduation. Interestingly, however, the association between living on-campus and persistence has not been considered thoroughly in the literature. While many studies leverage survey data and retention rates to make direct comparisons between on-campus and off-campus groups, most are unable to account for self-selection bias, i.e. that students who live on-campus may be qualitatively different from students who chose to live off-campus. The present study overcame this challenge by utilizing a matching technique called Prediction-based Propensity Score Matching (PPSM). Using this theoretically-driven and methodologically robust technique, researchers were able to account for self-selection bias and estimate the impact of on-campus living on student persistence. After matching, researchers estimated that students living on-campus experience a 1.19% lift (CI: 0.55% to 1.83%) in persistence. In other words, the model suggests that 46 students (CI: 21 to 71) remain enrolled at the institution simply because they live on-campus. This conclusion indicates that living in university housing is not only important because it provides students with campus proximity and social activities, but ultimately because it helps them persist towards graduation.
impact, living, campus, student, persistence
Hoopes, Hayden, "The Impact of Living On Campus on Student Persistence" (2019). Fall Student Research Symposium 2019. 3.