Starting with the class of 2026, Calvin will require students to live in and pay for three years of on-campus housing. The new policy is a move to generate more revenue for the university. Declining enrollment has opened up space in the residence halls, making this change possible.
Currently, the residency requirement is two years.
This new policy was implemented to generate more money for the university. The Financial Division Report sent to the Board of Trustees in February stated, “The available space on campus allows us to move in this direction, with the hope of helping student success and providing some additional revenues.”
In an email to Chimes, President Michael Le Roy said that he could not provide an estimate of the amount of revenue that the university expects to make from the change in this policy. “It is hard to say specifically at this time because it depends on total occupancy, but I would like to see our occupancy rate above 90 percent,” Le Roy said.
Juniors who want to fulfill this requirement by living in the Knollcrest East apartments will be allowed to do so. “We recognize that juniors and/or seniors may want different things, so we want to make sure that this group has good options,” said Le Roy.
Some details of the plan have not yet been finalized, but Le Roy shared two options that are being considered. Juniors could continue to live on dorm floors but have single rooms. Calvin might also designate more residence hall floors specifically for juniors and seniors.
Le Roy hopes that this new policy will increase student wellbeing. “I do think that students benefit from living in community and having the support they need to be successful academically and socially,” he said.
Although the administration has been reviewing the possibility for several years, the final decision was made this fall and became public this semester. Student Life and the trustee committees of administration and finance aided the administration in making the decision.
Calvin’s three-year residency requirement will be similar to what many other Christian colleges already have in place. Hope College and Aquinas College both require students to live on campus for three years, while Wheaton College and Gordon College require students to live on campus for all four years. Like Calvin, they offer exemptions for students who live with their parents, are married or are non-traditional undergraduates.
“Most of our peer institutions have three-year residency requirement and I think it makes sense for us also,” said Le Roy.