How Housing Boosts Grades
It appears that nurture wins out when it comes to student housing and getting good grades. (Nature has its place in college--consider all the bugs that find a home in a freshman's room.)
Residence halls with nurturing environments produce students with better grades, says PageSoutherlandPage principal Larry Speck. While teaching a class at the UT-Austin, he conducted an informal study among students from 14 residence halls. 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.
The residential environment is taking on roles that it didn't traditionally have because of technology. Twenty years ago, students went to the library to study. Now they can study anywhere via smart phones and laptops. Classes focus on project-based learning in groups, yet students study alone. (Reached for comment, a librarian told us "Shhh.") Dorms with places and programs that encourage group study help students achieve more. Fun fact: 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.