A change in The University of Toledo’s residency policy will help ensure students’ academic success and enhance their collegiate experience.
Beginning with the 2016-17 academic year, new students who live more than 25 miles from UT will live on campus for their first two years of college.
“Research shows that students who live on campus during their first two years of college are more involved in campus life and more likely to take advantage of the academic resources available to help them succeed,” said Dr. Kaye Patten Wallace, senior vice president for student affairs.
Patten Wallace emphasized that the positive impact of the new policy will help boost retention and graduation rates — two initiatives emphasized by UT President Sharon L. Gaber as among the University’s top priorities.
Previously, UT required students who lived beyond a 50-mile radius of campus to live on campus for one year. The University continues to have a waiver process for students whose individual circumstances may make living on campus difficult.
The additional students who will live on campus when the changes are fully implemented will have access to living-learning communities and themed residence hall floors that build a sense of community among students. They also will be more likely to be active in one of UT’s more than 200 student organizations and participate in on-campus activities and programs, Patten Wallace said.
“Having a greater number of sophomores joining our new students, many of them first-generation students, on our campus will go a long way in our efforts to create a more vibrant campus community where students succeed,” Patten Wallace said.
The new Honors Academic Village and Gateway on-campus living options, along with improvements designed to slow traffic along Dorr Street on the southern edge of campus, are additional initiatives related to an enhanced student experience at the University.
In each of the last two years, UT has seen an increase in first- to second-year retention rates of nearly 2 percent. The current retention rate of 71.9 percent is the highest it has been in more than a decade, and the housing policy change will work in concert with success coaching, peer-to-peer mentoring and other initiatives in place to ensure students graduate in a timely way.
Other Ohio public universities, including Ohio State University, Ohio University, Miami University and Bowling Green State University, also require a two-year on-campus residency.