Saint Mary’s University is listed seventh among “National Universities” for its high percentage of undergraduates living on campus, according to a recently released U.S. News ranking.
U.S. News says the country is facing a shortage of on-campus student housing at public and private schools, according to a 2012 report by the National Multi-Housing Council that analyzed data between 2000 and 2010. The last decade saw a 38.7 percent increase in student enrollment, and as enrollment surged, most states have seen a smaller percentage of students living in dorms. Areas with the highest campus housing shortages include Arizona, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota and West Virginia.
Despite the shortage, U.S. News compiled a list of 10 universities that are still housing most of their students on campus.
Harvard University tops the list of U.S. News National Universities with the highest percentage of undergraduate students living on campus in fall 2011. The Ivy League school has 98 percent of its undergraduates living on campus.
Saint Mary’s, in seventh, had 89 percent of students living on campus during the reporting period.
Other schools on the list include: Princeton University, 87 percent; California Institute of Technology, 95 percent; Columbia University, 95 percent; Stanford University, 91 percent; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 90 percent; Yale University, 88 percent; Dartmouth College, 86 percent; and Vanderbilt University, 86 percent.
Of the 247 ranked National Universities that provided data to U.S. News about campus housing, an average of 38 percent of the undergraduate population lives on campus. Saint Mary’s is one of only three public or private schools in Minnesota in this category.
“The completion of our newest 141-bed residence hall this past year reflects our commitment to creating a vibrant campus and transformational residential life experience,” said Chris Kendall, vice president of student life. “A high number of students living on campus brings life and vitality to all university activities and events. And a student’s residential experience is an important component of their overall college experience.”
U.S. News surveyed more than 1,800 colleges and universities for its 2012 rankings of undergraduate programs. While much of this survey data is used to rank schools for its annual “Best Colleges” rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News is now producing lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them.