(CBS DETROIT) – The executive team at Michigan State University is making a connection between retention and housing.

School administrators say students have a better chance at graduating if they live on campus through sophomore year.

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Aspiring Spartans will need to add an extra year of dorm expenses to their college budget.

MSU is changing housing requirements after almost four decades.

Starting fall 2021 – incoming freshmen will be required to live on-campus for the first two years.

“Even this year I wanted to be in an apartment and I know for a lot of people, like this could be annoying to have to be in the dorms for two years because apartments are a lot cheaper and it’s a lot easier for a lot of people just to stay in the dorms for one year,” said Basi Andreopulls, MSU sophomore.

The current room and board rate is $10,522 for two semesters, which could be a hefty added expense for some students who are already having a hard time covering tuition.

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“Especially with a four-person apartment it’s so much cheaper than being in a dorm and also like paying for the dining halls and stuff when you can just buy your own groceries and be in an apartment instead,” said Andreopulls.

MSU housing officials say the plan to launch the extension has been in the works for seven years and is not COVID-related.

The decision is based on studies found by the Office of Institutional Research.

It shows students have a “2.5 percent” greater chance at graduating if they live on campus for the first two years, when compared to those who only stay freshman year.

“Pew reviewed research from other universities found similar results, like Ohio state and northwestern already have a two-year live-on requirement and their students benefit from it. In the face of that research, we felt it was imperative that we make this move to ensure student success and graduation for more of our students,” said Kat Cooper, MSU Residential and Hospitality Services chief communications officer.

The changes won’t affect students who are already admitted or will be enrolled next semester.

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