The story in itself was a bit jarring, given that we are mired in the middle of a world-wide pandemic. You see the headline and think "what"? Michigan State University will  require incoming students, beginning in the fall of 2021, to live two years on campus. before being allowed to live off campus. Currently, students only have to spend one year living on campus.

The school's reason is that it helps a student's chances of graduating. MSU's Office of Institutional Research says the graduation rate for students that live on campus for two years is 2.5% higher than students that live on campus for just one year. That rate is 10% higher for what the university calls "underserved" groups, in their release.

This second year requirement was still in effect in the 1980's but was dropped after that.The school has made an effort to help freshmen and sophomores in the past five years with special initiatives, similar to those at Western Michigan University. MSU say that with those initiatives in place, graduation rates have improved from 76% to 81% and they hope that this second year on campus will improve it even more.

One problem is that living on campus is an expensive proposition. While splitting an apartment with several roommates can cut room and board cost significantly, the university's thinking is that the added structure of on campus living, in the long run, is more beneficial for the student, especially students who most likely are between 18 and 20 years old, and away from home for the first time.

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