BC-MO--Drury University-Housing,1st Ld-Writethru/300
Drury University drops housing policy, freezes housing costs
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Drury University is dropping a policy it enacted for this school year that required freshmen to live on campus.
The university in Springfield also plans to reduce or freeze costs for most on-campus residences and will continue to offer housing grants to incoming students, based on need.
The Springfield News-Leader reports (http://sgfnow.co/1SwwXRx ) university officials are concerned the new policy would prevent some students from attending the school.
Jay Fedje, vice president of enrollment management, said the policy enacted this school year didn't appear to be increasing housing occupancy. The university, which has been trying to increase enrollment, worried the rule might scare off potential students.
Room and board costs in the fall semester ranged from $3,828 to $6,428 depending on the housing facility, number of roommates and meal plan. There are a wide range of on-campus options including specialty housing, which allows students with similar interests to live together.
School officials said its housing occupancy rate has fluctuated between 80 and 85 percent in recent years.
"We firmly believe in a residential college experience, and our current students and alumni can attest to the difference it makes in one's college career," says Drury President David Manuel, in a news release. "But we also want to ensure a continued focus on access and affordability, particularly for students here in the Springfield area."
Fedje says students whose primary family residence is within 30 miles of the campus will be allowed to live at home with a parent.
When it instituted the policy, the university cited research showing students who live on campus are more likely to graduate, have higher grades and participate in groups and activities on campus.
Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com
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