This May term, 168 students of all ages are living off-campus. Some are studying abroad, but many others are living in local apartments.
Justine Jackovich, assistant director of Residential Life, said students have always had the option to live off campus during May Term, as long as they’re moved out of their room before classes start.
She said students tend to have different preferences for choosing off-campus housing options.
“For those students who are nearing graduation, there might be an additional appeal to have more opportunities to cook and clean for themselves,” Jackovich said.
Jackovich said students who move off campus for the month receive refunds for their housing costs during May Term. They also don’t have to pay the board fee. There is no application to live off campus during the term, so any student is able to move out if they want to.
For students Ben Weber and Paige Marsh, the biggest factor in moving off campus for May Term was saving money.
Weber, a junior, is also living off campus next year. He said he received a refund around $900. After paying rent for the month, he said he saved about $550. He also wanted to live off campus because of bad experiences living in the dorms, mainly because of the quality of living.
“I like having my own space off campus, like my own room and a kitchen,” Weber said. “Just being on my own away from everything.”
Marsh, a freshman from Waverly, chose to live at home for the month. She said she spends a lot of time at her house when she needs a break from campus.
While she chose to not live on campus for the month, she said she probably wouldn’t live off campus for an entire year because she wouldn’t meet as many people as she did by living in Clinton.
Jackovich said that’s one of the many reasons why Wartburg prides itself on being a residential campus. She said research has shown residential living helps promote student success.
“When students live on, they are more likely to become engaged and have easier access to the academic and co-curricular resources provided by the college,” Jackovich said.
She also said living in a community helps students learn to be good neighbors and build relationships with their peers.
Weber wishes Wartburg would change to a system similar to other colleges and universities, where it isn’t required for students to live on campus. He believes students can learn a lot by living on their own, off campus.
“Being able to cook for yourself and clean after yourself,” Weber said. “I always talk about shutting lights off when you leave a room so the electricity bill is less. You’re pretty much fending for yourself.”