MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Minnesota State University, Mankato is looking to house more returning students within the next ten years in order to meet the demand of returning students wanting to live on campus and increase student retention rate.
Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport said earlier this week that improving student retention rates is a high priority for the school.
He said learning communities in resident halls lead to a higher retention of students and that more students are looking to live on campus a second year.
According to Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management David Jones, the university’s retention rate is around 75 percent.
He said students who live in campus housing perform better than that return rate.
MSU junior and community assistant (CA) Sussana Machinga said for her, it’s the convenience that lead her to live on-campus for more than just her first year.
“So, when you’re living on campus, you have everything right next to you," she said.
For sophomore and CA Cole Marshall, it’s the chance to get involved.
“It’s a really good place to meet people, get involved and do things that I might not have done if I had my own apartment," he said.
Machinga and Marshall are just two of the nearly 500 returning students and approximately 2750 total students living on campus this year.
Last year, the numbers were about the same.
Davenport told KEYC News 12 more students want to live on campus a second year, and now the university is looking at building two new resident halls.
One project includes upperclassmen housing behind the baseball stadium, and the second includes a new resident hall at the former Carkoski Commons location.
“In the next five years the project that would potentially come up first would be the one over by behind the baseball stadium that allows for exploration of upper class housing. The next one would be the one which is a Carkoski replacement," said Jones.
Machinga said that while she is a CA, she is also a resident, and she appreciates the support she gets from her peers.
“So even if I wasn’t a CA, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I would completely live on campus," she said.
MSU said they are also paying attention to the type of housing students might want when they live on-campus, such as single rooms.