SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — San Diego State University officials say a program at the school is meant to turn the sophomore slump into sophomore success. But some students argue that it will hurt their wallets more than help their grades.
"Most people I know are completely against it,” said Gabrielle Pollack.
Pollack is part of a group of students organizing in opposition to the university's “Sophomore Success” program which requires non-local students to live in on campus housing for their sophomore year in addition to their freshman year. The school says the program aims to boost student performance.
Under the program students would pay anywhere from around $1,000 to $1,500 a month to live in a university apartment which vary in size from one to four rooms.
A lottery system is used for the selection process.
"I could be paying $600 a month for an apartment just as close, if not closer, with my friends,” said freshman Kylie Brown.
“To us, this looks like a one-sided cash grab meant to put more money in their pockets at our expense and our parents’ expense,” said Pollack.
News 8 reached out to university leaders and they shared the following statement:
San Diego State University is aware that a few people gathered Monday afternoon to raise issues about the Sophomore Success Program. Our campus community is committed to students’ rights for expression of beliefs, and the university recognizes and appreciates responsible engagement in peaceful protests.
We also want to clarify a number of points about the Sophomore Success Program.
To continually improve student academic success, retention and graduation rates, SDSU has adopted a live-on requirement for sophomore students who live outside of the university’s local service area.
The Sophomore Success Program will be fully implemented in fall 2019.
All current non-local SDSU students were informed of the program and the subsequent two-year live-on requirement prior to their application and admittance to the university as freshmen. Those students also The same students also signed a two-year license agreement.
The development of Sophomore Success Program was informed by a growing body of research indicating that students who live on campus are better prepared academically, enjoy an increased sense of community and campus connectedness, and graduate at faster rates than those who do not. The program provides sophomores with tailored academic and community support. SDSU is joining a growing number of higher education institutions requiring second-year students to live on campus. Both Ohio State University and Illinois State University offer similar programs.
The two-phase program began in 2017, with the freshmen class of Guardian Scholars, students in the nursing program, those in the Honors College, out-of-state and international students, as well as student-athletes. These students were the first to continue to live on campus during their second year, which occurred beginning in fall 2018.
More information about the program is available online.