WTAMU introduces plan that offers up to a year of free housing - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

WTAMU introduces plan that offers up to a year of free housing

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA

It's no secret, there's one word that strikes a cord with many college students... free.

That's why West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) has introduced a new incentive program that could change the way students view residential living.

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The initiative offers up to a year of free housing for those who choose to live on campus during their last two years of college.

"Currently our policy is students live with us for two years, and so once they get into that third year they would pay for the fall but the spring semester would be completely free," said Jeff Sulik, Senior Director for Residential Living at WTAMU. "Then if they stay with us in the senior year, their fourth year, in the fall their eighth semester would also be free."

Transfer students also can take advantage of the incentive plan with a special track designed just for them.

"I've taken calls from parents asking 'how do we sign up' or 'how do we become eligible,'" said Sulik. "If you have a contract with us you're eligible."

He said the university's plan aims to increase student success.

"There are studies that go back literally decades that show students who live on campus do better academically, higher GPAs, better retention rates, better graduation rates," said Sulik. "We're able to provide a level of support with our staffing here. It's much easier for students when they live on campus."

Some WTAMU students like Junior Lauren Bergman agree.

"The most expensive part about coming to WT is living on campus," said Bergman. "So when you break it down, the year that you get for free by staying on campus is going to be totally worth it."

Sophomore Christian Campbell echoed that statement, but also added that this plan could add to the overcrowding issue at WT.

"I think WT has an overcrowding problem," said Campbell. "I've heard stories of people in Centennial having to live with three people in one room so that is kind of concerning."

Sulik said it's nothing the university isn't prepared to deal with.

"We anticipate our capacity will be okay," said Sulik. "We're hoping  this is going to just go off like crazy we're gonna have hundreds of students take advantage of the opportunity. If we get to that point we're going to have to look at some of our other policies."

WT's Residential Living reapplication process begins next week.

The new housing incentive plan will go into effect fall 2018.

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