Monday, June 24, 2019
Inside Higher Ed, How Dorm Rooms Can Affect Grades:
Colleges have attempted to woo prospective students in recent years with slick residence halls that are far cry from the minimalist construction styles of the past. And while studies have focused on how living on campus versus off campus can affect students’ attitudes and academic performance, little research has been conducted on how the actual architecture of a building can influence those same factors.
A group of researchers that attempted to determine the relationship between student housing and grades outlined their findings in a new study published this month in the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice [The Hidden Structure: The Influence of Residence Hall Design on Academic Outcomes].
The authors note that some parents believe that apartment-style living spaces — as opposed to the more traditional rooms lined down a single corridor — will benefit their children. But many students find the apartments make them lonely, despite giving them more privacy and space, the researchers wrote.
The researchers set out to figure out whether students who lived in traditional campus housing had better grade point averages and a sense of belonging compared to those in apartments. The researchers also wanted to know whether black students who lived in a typical dormitory would have more academic success than those who did not. ...
[T]he researchers studied 5,537 first-year students, about 800 of whom were black. The black first-year students who lived in the corridor-style dormitories — those with more opportunities to socialize among similar peers — ended up having higher GPAs than those who were housed in the apartments, with an average 2.3 GPA compared to a 1.9.
The differences were less pronounced among white students, but those who lived in the traditional residence halls had higher GPAs — an average 2.9 versus 2.8 for the apartment dwellers.