FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - In an effort to better retain underclassmen, Northern Arizona University is looking to refocus its on-campus housing policy.
If the new rule comes to NAU, juniors and seniors will need to find housing off campus, or in one of the several apartment complexes on campus that aren't solely owned by the university, instead of school owned housing.
The rule would come into effect in fall of 2017, all but eliminating the opportunity to stay in dorms past a student's sophomore year.
The university says it is taking these steps in order to keep freshmen and sophomore students more engaged on campus, citing that retaining students in their freshmen and sophomore years shows a higher likelihood of graduation.
Obviously, freshmen and sophomores have to live here, especially freshmen," said freshman Taylor Harvey. "But as you go out, it's cheaper to live on campus and so much more convenient."
The rule would be unique in the state, compared to other public universities. At the University of Arizona, students are guaranteed housing after being accepted, regardless of class rank. At Arizona State, there's housing dedicated to upperclassmen.
NAU junior Connor Reeves said living off campus has had its benefits for him.
"I cook for myself a lot more, which saves a lot of money," he said. "I mean, there's gas bills that you have to pay, but it's a lot cheaper than living on campus."
"It's a lot easier meeting people, of course, living on campus, making new connections on campus," said Cole Yohn, a freshman. "So being a senior, that is a little unfair, but by then I feel like you should have made those connections by the time you get to be a junior or senior."
"My plan is to become an RA (resident assistant) so I can still live on campus," said Harvey.
While plans and opinions differ, options for living may not for much longer.
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