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On Average, Residents Maintain Higher GPAs Than Commuters

The difference between a dorm full of friends and a comfortable home can alter CCSU students’ grade point averages drastically.

Braden Hosch, Director of Institutional Research and Assessment at CCSU, determined which group was responsible for recording higher GPAs on average between on-campus students and commuters.

With the most recent study of GPA comparisons, on-campus students excel on paper slightly more in terms of their average GPAs.

“Part-time students are excluded, since they’re not supposed to live in housing,” Hosch said. “And parttime students tend to be older (older students earn higher grades).”

First-year students with zero to 25 credits who lived on-campus in Fall 2008 had an average GPA of 2.73, where first-year commuters had an average GPA of 2.51.

The trend continues with upperclassmen as well, though, in contrast, seniors who lived on-campus averaged a 3.06 GPA, where commuters maintained a 3.08. A variable in this comparison lies in the ratio of residents to commuter. There were 2,037 students living on campus last semester and  5,248 students that lived offcampus.

“It is only possible to say that higher GPAs are associated with campus housing, not that the campus housing causes the higher grades,” Hosch said.

He explained that the cause of the higher GPAs for underclassmen residents could depend on the type of student.

“Students who live in campus housing tend to want a more traditional college experience… and students who live off-campus tend to work more hours,” he said.

Kara LaBissoniere, 19, and an elementary education major, commutes to CCSU. A second semester sophomore, she has worked throughout her entire college career so far, and has managed to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.7.

“Right now, I’m just a waitress at Rick’s on 5 in Wallingford; however, at one time I did have three jobs.” She doesn’t work every day at Rick’s, but when she had the three jobs as a second-semester freshman, she struggled to juggle her work hours with time for homework.

“I’m too close to school already; there’s no need to live at school if I only have to drive a few minutes to get here,” she replied, when asked if she would ever live on campus.

Katrina Joerg, 20 and an elementary education math major, is an on-campus student who enjoys living in her dorm.

“My parents told me I had to live on campus the first semester and if I didn’t like it, then I could commute. I’m glad I lived here,” she went on to say. With an average GPA of 2.9, she works every night on her homework.

“I had a rough first semester trying to get comfortable with the college setting,” Joerg said. Most first year students do have trouble when coping with being away from home, but she continued through it.

Joerg works at Lego in Enfield, Conn. on Sundays and sometimes gets extra hours from coworkers.

Hosch mentioned that “it is quite possible that when CCSU does build more housing, we will also see grades increase slightly.”


-Micahel Torelli, Special to The Recorder