The University of New Mexico Class of 2020 arrived on campus for Move-In Day in mid-August. For many, this will be the most exciting experience of their college career. What most won’t realize, however, is that the decision to live on campus can greatly impact their overall success in college.

Recent statistics from the UNM Office of Enrollment Management show that freshman students living on campus in 2014 had an 85 percent retention rate headed into their sophomore semester compared to 75 percent for those living off campus. Additionally, six-year graduation rates for on-campus students who started UNM in 2009 was 52 percent compared to 45 percent for off campus.

"We believe the potential for student’s academic success is certainly enhanced by living on campus,” said Wayne Sullivan, director of UNM Residence Life and Student Housing. “In addition to the convenience to academic resources, living on campus provides a more in depth sense of engagement in the UNM experience, allowing students to remain focused on their studies as well as benefit from academic, social and community development activities. This is integral to the experience we provide.”

“Our events and activities provided by our trained staff of Resident Advisors, are more than just pizza night,” said Megan Chibanga, manager of Resident Education. “The nearly 1,000 programs implemented each year are centered on our education model in order to enhance the college experience, keeping students involved, engaged and supported.”

Common Area
Residence Hall common areas provide a space for students to hang out and interact with one another.

Additionally, the halls house 15 Living Learning Communities where residents can live and learn with other like-minded students. The communities, which include areas of interest including Engineering, Outdoor Living & Environmental Learners and Community Engagement, partner closely with academic departments on campus to integrate classroom and campus life for an optimal learning experience.

Other added benefits to resident success is the closeness to campus resources, no commuting headaches and the overall social support of peers.

“Move-in is our most exciting time here in Student Housing because we look forward to providing the best experience possible for our residents,” said Sullivan. “A positive experience living on campus can impact a student’s entire college experience.”

Residence Life & Student Housing is a department of Institutional Support Services (ISS).