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Nurture vs Nature


It's an age-old quandary of nature versus nurture. It appears that nurture wins out when it comes to student housing and getting good grades. A study buddy helps, too.


1) Togetherness

Residence halls with nurturing environments produce students with better grades, Ã PageSoutherlandPage principal Larry Speck discovered while teaching a class at the University of Texas at Austin. He conducted an informal study among students from 14 different resident halls at UT and found that student housing can have a phenomenal difference on a student's academic success. After evening out variables that impact GPA (such as high school ranking and what kind of school they attended), Larry found that students living in facilities with study halls and mentors fared better than their peers who didn't have that support.


2) Lonely Computer

The residential environment is taking on roles that they didn't traditionally haveà because of technology. Twenty years ago, students went to the library to study. Now they have access on their smart phones and laptops to study anywhere. Classes focus on project-based learning in groups, yet students study alone. Dorms with places to study together and programs to encourageà group studyà help students achieve significantly more than those that don't. Fun fact:à Larry designed the $64M 2400 Nueces collegiate apartment community two blocks from UT in the West Campus area. Developed by EdR on UT-owned land, the 16-story project includes 304 units, the UT International Office and almost 19k SF of mixed-use retail.