Students weigh cost amidst nearing NMSU Housing Selection process


Mitchell Allred

Students will pay an average of $140 more for campus housing next year

With the approaching Housing Selection process being held from March 19 through the 22 at New Mexico State University, continuing students must decide whether or not the benefits of remaining on-campus outweigh the cost.   

The selection process allows upperclassmen students to renew or move into a new space and freshmen students able to select a room in one of the on-campus apartment complexes for the upcoming academic year.  

Since the fall of 2017, first-year students have been required to live in one of several on-campus residence halls, including Rhodes-Garrett-Hamiel, Pinon Hall, and Garcia Hall. Juniper Hall, the latest addition to NMSU Housing, will be open for freshmen residents this fall. NMSU Housing grants exemptions only under certain circumstances, such as the student remaining at home with a parent or guardian. 

Michelle Bernstein, Associate Director of Residential Education, is a proponent of on-campus living and cited various national studies for evidence linking student success to living on-campus. Bernstein attributed the correlation to a number of factors, including easy access to resources and the convenience of being close to classes. 

Persistence is improved by living on-campus. Students are less likely to drop out of college and more likely to graduate on-time. They are often earning better grades overall and also self-report a better college experience,Bernstein said. 

For NMSU Housing and Residential Life, retention of students on-campus begins the moment freshmen students first move in. Bernstein stated that NMSU Housing intends to provide an experience that students will want to return to, leading to academic and social programs and events being centered around students. 

Resident Assistants are student employees of NMSU Housing and Residential Life that remain in the on-campus residence halls and apartment complexes alongside residents. In the fall of 2018, resident assistants put on 240 academic and social programs, attracting 6,800 total attendees. Bernstein noted that the numbers are more than double than what they were two years ago. 

Despite the benefits, some students must consider the cost of living on-campus when making their decision and whether they can find more competitive pricing elsewhere. 

Rachel Kenney, a third-year student majoring in Elementary Education, believed that her experience living on-campus so far has made her feel more connected to her education and the university as a whole by being in close proximity to her classes and any events taking place. She also claimed that living on-campus has its drawbacks. 

The main con is the cost of living. It doesnt seem proportional to what you get,Kenney said. 

When asked to elaborate, Kenney said that the way that facilities are maintained and even the size of the rooms and furniture supplied are not quality enough to be as expensive as they are. 

Kylie Rhodes, a first-year student planning on returning next year, has had a different experience with living on-campus as money is not so much an issue. Rhodes has enjoyed being in close proximity to friends and resources, as well as the freedom that comes from not living at home. 

I think the benefits are being so close to everything. It makes it easy to get around and always be where you need to be. Ive made so many friends and have had so many experiences that I wouldnt have been able to have if I didnt live on campus,Rhodes said. 

Students looking to return next year may complete the returner application by clicking on the MyHousing tab under their MyNMSU homepage. Students considering off-campus housing options may look toward online resources such as ApartmentFinder.

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