By: Jacob Stone  | 

A Comprehensive Analysis: Wilf Housing

Wilf students are required to live in one of the university’s residence halls in their first year on campus. After their first year, many students choose to move to off-campus arrangements, which are often apartments in Washington Heights. The undergraduate experience for Wilf students varies widely for on- and off-campus students.

To learn more about Wilf housing, The Commentator contacted the university’s Office of Research and Institutional Assessment, which supplied data on the state of Wilf undergraduate student living. Included in the data was information on the history of on-campus and off-campus housing, a breakdown of housing by academic year, and a comparison of on- and off-campus GPAs for Yeshiva College (YC) and the Sy Syms School of Business (SSSB). 

Ten Years of Housing

In the fall semester of 2009, 790 Wilf students lived on-campus, while only 405 lived off-campus. The number of students living off-campus increased somewhat steadily until Fall 2015, during which almost equal numbers of students lived on- and off-campus. In Fall 2019, slightly more students live on-campus than off-campus. Overall, the number of students in university housing has decreased in the past ten years. This may be expected given the decline in YU undergraduate enrollment over that period of time.

Housing By Academic Year

In the Fall 2018 semester, students who had more credits tended to live off-campus. Of the 156 students who were academically freshmen, 137 lived on-campus while 19 lived off-campus. Of the 318 academic seniors, 222 lived off-campus while 96 lived on-campus. Many Wilf students arrive as academic sophomores due to the gap years they spend in Israel but are not allowed to move off-campus until their second year on-campus, during which they are academic juniors. 

GPA of On- and Off-Campus Students

A comparison of the average GPAs of on- and off-campus YC and Syms students during the Fall 2018 semester showed that on-campus students had higher GPAs than their off-campus counterparts. The average GPA of an on-campus YC student was 3.599, while the average off-campus student’s was 3.550. The average GPA of an on-campus SSSB student was 3.456, while the average off-campus student’s was 3.421.

Studies at other universities on the relationship between housing arrangement and GPA have given mixed results. Some reports show that on-campus students tend to perform better academically, while others do not show strong correlations between the two.

It should be noted that the differences in academic performance between on- and off-campus students are not necessarily due to housing arrangements. Older students tend to live off-campus, and their GPAs might be lower because of tougher upper-level courses in their major among other factors.The state of housing on the Wilf campus is constantly changing. The Commentator reported in Spring 2016 that 20% of first-time students had chosen to live off-campus that year. The administration subsequently instituted the current rule that limited first year students to on-campus housing in Fall 2016, claiming that “Student success is driving our decisions. From our experience, FTOCs who live on campus have a better transition to college life and take fuller advantage of campus activities.”

Photo Caption 1: Ten years ago, many more students lived on-campus.
Photo Credit 1: The Commentator 
Photo Caption 2: As students get older, they tend to move off-campus.
Photo Credit 2: The Commentator
Photo Caption 3: On-campus students had a higher GPA compared to their off-campus counterparts.
Photo Credit 3: The Commentator