University Housing and Residence Life officials are discussing the prospect of building additional on-campus housing for first-year students as enrollment continues to grow.
Freshman enrollment has increased by 73 percent in the last five years, according to data from the KSU Fact Book, and the drastic increase has led to the demand for additional on-campus housing.
Jeff Cooper, director of residence life, said the demand indicates strong support for additional first-year housing. This would complement the University Village, University Village Suites and KSU Place on the Kennesaw campus and Howell Hall and Hornet Village Suites on the Marietta campus.
“If first-year housing is constructed, it would be reserved exclusively for those students,” Cooper said. “We also recognize that housing demand remains high for our upper division students so those considerations are also reflected in our discussions.”
According to Cooper, options are being reviewed to expand housing options on both the Kennesaw and Marietta campuses, but no final decision has been made yet.
Currently, first-year students at the Marietta campus that are enrolled in academic programs are required to live on-campus. According to Cooper, it is possible that a similar requirement could expand to the Kennesaw campus in the future.
Cooper believes an on-campus housing requirement could enhance the college experience for residential students, socially and academically.
“Our data illustrates that, generally-speaking, KSU students who live on campus perform better academically than those who live off campus,” Cooper said. “In addition, they are more likely to return to KSU for a second year.”
Cooper explained that the requirement would allow the administration to provide each incoming student with a sense of belonging, community, leadership, involvement opportunities and increased access to campus resources.
He said that a construction timeline would become available if additional housing is approved.
“Timelines for construction projects include many variables that would affect the length to project completion, including the type of facility and how many beds would be constructed,” Cooper said.
The Sentinel will continue to post updates to this story as it develops.