Fall 2013 Freshmen Required to live on UALR Campus - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Fall 2013 Freshmen Required to live on UALR Campus

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Picture by Katherina Yancy, KATV Picture by Katherina Yancy, KATV

(KATV) Little Rock- Living on the UALR campus has not been a requirement, especially since the university attracts non-traditional students. But that will change next fall for entering freshmen.

Incoming freshmen don't need to worry. You will not be forced to move into a dorm, but the school wants students to be more involved, get the whole college experience and graduate on time.

This semester there are nearly 13,000 students attending UALR, only about 1,000 of them live in dorms.

Chancellor Joel Anderson says, "It is not going to change the fact that UALR will continue to be overwhelmingly a commuter campus."

Chancellor Anderson say requiring freshmen to live in campus housing is nothing new in the U.S. and Arkansas public universities. "We want to see more of our students stay in college and graduate from college and living on campus is research proven to make important contributions to that."

Some students worry about the bottom line… cost. Since it sets a student back $1,200 to $2,500 a semester. Senior, Ebone Elliott says, "Especially like with housing steadily going up and the credit hours price increasing as well. It is putting a headache on my parents and me as well."

But the majority of students Channel Seven spoke with are for the change.

William Bissett has a family and he is getting his third degree. He says, ""It's also nice for parents to know their children are being taken care of in a very safe environment."

JT Poole explains, "My freshman year, I wish I would have lived on campus. I would have met more people and been involved."

UALR's graduation rates are among the lowest in the state, Chancellor Anderson says some students who work have to take less hours and graduate after five or six years.

Lenita Gill wants to be a kindergarten teacher. Gill says because she has lived on campus since she was a freshmen, she will graduate on time. "I feel like I am productive. It is a lot easier for me to get a lot of work done on campus; I have a lot of access to the library and the food courts."

A few exceptions to the new rule are if you're married, have a child, rather live with family or 21 years old and above.

According to UALR, there is plenty of room for students to live on campus. UALR has roughly about one-thousand freshmen. In the spring the campus took over the University Village apartments; that will be an extra 420 beds opening in the fall of 2013, bringing the total to 1400 rooms.

Chancellor Anderson concludes, "We anticipate in time additional student housing will be built, but we're cautious about that. We will wait until the time is right for us to do it and it makes sense."