How Campus Housing Contributes to Learning Outcomes

On campus housing programs strive to provide a quality living environment that not only fosters strong social connections and comfortable living, but also provides programs, services, and initiatives that support broader student learning and success. Furthermore, in a time when institutional resources are becoming increasingly scarce, the need for quality data to demonstrate the positive impact of residence life programs on student success is crucial.

To that end, this research notes aims to highlight the role of living in on-campus housing to enhancing learning experiences for students. Using a national dataset constructed from the ACUHO-I/Benchworks Resident Assessment of over 300,000 undergraduate and graduate college students from nearly 300 colleges and universities in the United States, the findings of this note show how students attribute learning to their housing experience, as well as the relationship between learning and satisfaction in housing on campus.

Key Questions:
1. How does living in university housing contribute to student learning?
2. How does learning in housing on campus relate to satisfaction?

Key Points:

  • The survey factors with the strongest relationships to overall learning were learning factors, including interactions and practical skills.
  • Students report high levels of both overall learning and satisfaction as it relates to the housing experience on campus.
  • There is a strong relationship between learning and overall satisfaction with the housing experience on campus.

Nearly six out of ten respondents reported that living in on-campus housing led to beneficial interactions with residents who were different from themselves in terms of beliefs, race/ethnicity, etc.

On Campus Housing Contributions to Skill Development

An exploration of survey responses from on-campus residents showed that the on-campus housing experience enhanced learning related to a variety of critical concepts. In particular, the data suggests that living in on-campus housing enhances learning outcomes related to personal interactions, diverse interactions, and self-management.

Respondents reported their experience living in housing on campus contributed to their growth in key learning areas including personal interactions, diverse interactions, self-management, risk behaviors, and overall satisfaction. The majority of students also reported that living on campus positively enhanced their overall learning experience and positively contributed to their academic performance. Overall, on-campus housing plays an important role as it relates to student development and achievement of key learning and social outcomes.

To access all the data in this robust research note, just fill out the form to the right. Interested in learning more about housing and the Skyfactor research process? Check out our blog with Dr. Sherry Woosley where she discusses assessment, housing, and how one thought leader writes a book chapter to help student affairs professionals.