UALR DORM LIFE: It may not be required for local residents next year.
campus is buzzing with talk that the school will alter its new policy requiring all freshmen to live on campus.
I inquired about the report and got this response from UALR spokeswoman Judy Williams:
Chancellor Anderson said the recruiters have recommended amending the housing policy that requires freshmen to live on campus to exempt those who live within a 25-mile radius. He is reviewing a revised policy but has not given approval on that recommendation yet.
The policy has a worthy goal. With expanded dorms, the campus can move to more resemble other traditional campus settings. UALR is well past its days as a commuter school, but it still has a high percentage of so-called non-traditional students.
The flipside was that UALR is the only campus with required residency even for people who live in the city where the campus is located. This, some argued, was a financial disincentive to attending UALR. A family faced with a choice between UALR and UCA, for example, might decide that UCA was preferable because a student could continue to live at home and commute. Or, given the loss of a home option, a student might opt to attend school in Fayetteville, Jonesboro, Pine Bluff, etc.
Chancellor Joel Anderson said earlier that he expected
the campus will experience a small enrollment decline. I don't yet have preliminary figures on enrollment this year versus last for freshmen, but expect them before long.
UPDATE: Here's the preliminary numbers from Williams:
Last fall, UALR had 847 first-time entering freshmen, compared to 670 this fall. We have a few enrolled students whose status hasn't been determined due to a lack of entrance information, so this number may increase slightly.
The overall drop in total numbers was about 470 (not 570 as I originally wrote).