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WT offers students incentive to live on campus

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Hundreds of families members helped their students during West Texas A&M University move-in day in August in Canyon. WT said Wednesday that students ho begin living on campus as freshmen and continue to stay will be eligible to receive free housing for both their sixth and eighth semesters. (Amarillo Globe-News)

West Texas A&M University announced Wednesday a program designed to encourage students to live on campus longer.

Starting in the fall semester, students who begin living on campus as freshmen and continue to stay will be eligible to receive free housing for both their sixth and eighth semesters, the university said in a news release.

“Every study you look at in terms of academic performance shows that students who live on campus do better academically,” WT President Walter Wendler said in a statement.

“An on-campus residential experience offers a whole series of positive results — better grades, better student engagement, better retention.”

WT said it would place resident assistants with subject-level expertise on certain floors of each residence hall to help students with academics.

Current students who live in campus housing are eligible for the program.

Transfer students are eligible for a 50 percent housing discount on their fourth semester as well as the sixth semester, if applicable.

Wendler said the program would also cut down on student debt.

“We are looking for every possible way to economize on-campus living,” Wendler said.

WT is home to 11 residence halls with approximately 2,200 beds available, according to the news release. The annual occupancy rate averages 90 percent, the university said.

A consulting firm hired to develop a new master plan for the WT campus is recommending the construction of a new residence hall to absorb growth.

WT enrolled 10,169 students in fall 2017, a record and the continuation of an upward trend that has lasted since 2012.

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