The Causal Effect of Campus Residency on College Student Retention

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Schudde, Lauren T

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Association for the Study of Higher Education
Project Muse


Despite theoretical evidence positing a positive relationship between campus residency and collegiate outcomes, prior research has not established a causal link. Utilizing propensity score matching and national longitudinal data, this study investigates whether living in university-owned housing impacts retention. The results suggest that the impact of living on campus is not negligible: the probability of remaining enrolled into the second year of college is 3.3 percentage points higher for on-campus residents than off-campus residents. Colleges should consider evaluating the impact of their campus housing programs on academic outcomes to inform important housing policy decisions


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Schudde, L. T. (2011). The causal effect of campus residency on college student retention. The Review of Higher Education, 34(4), 581-610.