Rick Bradley, director of admin services for Carolina Housing, said some students may feel that having an off-campus experience is a helpful transition before post-college life. He also mentioned that privacy can be something students are searching for when choosing to move off campus.
“Privacy is normally expressed as the primary thing that an off-campus student is looking for, whether it's just more space or a private room.” Bradley said.
Bradley also discussed the positives of living on campus. Convenience — being close to classes and libraries — is one of the biggest draws to dorm living or other on-campus options.
Living on campus can enrich a student's on-campus experience, Bradley said.
“There’s also data that shows, and our own data reinforces, that student retention at the University is higher for students who live on campus versus off campus, and the connections to the University are greater when students have an on-campus living experience,” he said.
Bradley said Carolina Housing suggests that sophomores live on campus, as they are still acclimating themselves with campus, meeting new people and becoming familiar with the course demands of their major.
“The resources that the University offers are still present and accessible more easily when they're on campus,” he said.
Though many students move off campus their junior or senior year, Bradley said it is possible to live on campus throughout one's undergraduate career.
“We certainly have a large number of juniors and seniors that stay with us, so about 800 students that stay all four years, so that's certainly an option but it's not necessary for everyone to stay all four years with us,” he said.
Amina Thorne-Morning, administrative assistant for Student Affairs, said Student Affairs includes Carolina Housing.
“A lot of students come in here and even talk to the Vice Chancellor themselves," she said. "Sometimes they make appointments and talk with them.”
With the numerous options for living on and off campus, Bradley advises students to make the best decision for them.
“It really then becomes a decision for families and students to talk about, you know, what's the right thing for them to do?” Bradley said.