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Sophomore Success Program

Sophomore Success Program



1. Why is the university making this decision now? Research shows that students who live on campus are more engaged, more successful and graduate faster than those who do not. The program is a strategic step toward ensuring that all students are engaged, prepared, and well positioned to finishing in four years.

2. Do you have enough space? Are there enough residence halls/campus apartments? The university currently has space for ~5,000 students to live on campus in the residence halls and campus apartments. Another 620 beds will be at South Campus Plaza in 2016 and 350 beds will be added on College Avenue just south of Montezuma in the fall of 2018, when the program launches. To grow with our projected student body, we also have plans to use an additional 550 beds currently operated by Aztec Shops and then build or buy an additional 600-800 beds no later than the fall of 2020.
3. Is on-campus housing more expensive than off-campus? On-campus housing is very competitively priced when all of the amenities and services are included in the monthly costs. For example, most off-campus apartments typically do not include high-speed internet, trash and recycling, utilities, and program support in their monthly rent costs. Moreover, students with high financial need will be provided additional aid opportunities to be able to live on campus.

4. Will meal plans be required? Meal plans for sophomores will not be required. Instead, an optional “declining balance” plan will be available for purchase to ensure students who would like to are able to take advantage of the 25+ campus dining opportunities at their convenience.

5. Do you have enough space for upper classmen who want to live on campus? When incorporating the suites and the properties currently owned and operated by Aztec Shops, campus housing will have enough space to house the freshman and first phase of the sophomore classes by fall of 2018. Additional housing acquired after that date will be for incoming freshmen classes allowing sophomores to utilize the current suites in Cuicacalli. Should the demand for on-campus housing for juniors, seniors, and graduate students grow, we may partner with local landlords to provide accommodations.

6. Can students who are not required to live on-campus still do so? Or will they be turned away for lack of space? We plan on accommodating an increasing percentage of local incoming freshmen students and a modest percentage of local sophomore students. As the demand for on-campus housing for juniors, seniors, and graduate students grows, we will propose more options to provide accommodations.

7. Will non-traditional sophomores be required to live on campus? (Veterans, Parents, etc.) The students who are currently exempt from the first-year freshman live-on requirement will also be exempted from the second-year live-on requirement. Students have the opportunity to complete an exemption request through the Office of Housing Administration if their situation fits the criteria.

8. How will this affect parking? Parking will likely improve as fewer students will need a car to reach campus. Currently one out of four (25%) of on-campus residents have a residential parking permit where one out of two (50%) of residents had residential parking permits only six (6) years ago. In addition, an MTS permit will be available to on-campus residents who would like one.

9. How do you support the local/commuter students who also need the support of living on-campus? The success of our commuter students remains a top priority which is why we opened our commuter resource center last year. The commuter resource center provides a place for those students to develop a community and participate in such programming as academic workshops, career development sessions, and study abroad workshops. There also are commuter students who wish to live on campus to take advantage of student success pathways providing academic and transition support such as the residential benefits, we will be happy to accommodate them via our Sophomore Surge Program.

10. With so many more students living on campus, is there the potential for more noise and behavior issues in the adjacent neighborhoods? Keeping students in on‐campus housing for a second year will actually move sophomores out of the neighborhood homes and into housing facilities that are closer to campus and managed by university staff. Second year students will enjoy a more independent lifestyle in our apartments while having residential staff in place to enforce housing and university policies and build healthy communities. These staff members will address noise and other behavioral concerns in order to foster an environment where students can live and learn and respect their neighbors in the community. University Police will also continue to partner with the residential staff in these facilities to promote a safe and secure environment.

11. How will this program affect landlords in the College Area who rent houses and apartments to SDSU students? As the demand for on-campus housing for juniors, seniors, and graduate students grows, we may partner with reputable local landlords to provide accommodations. We see this as a productive alternative to the illegal and/or unsafe “mini-dorms” that have had a negative impact in the local area.

12. Will more campus facilities – restaurants, dining halls, bowling alley, Student Health Services, etc. – stay open later and longer to accommodate all these students? Services will be adjusted appropriately based on demand.

13. Will you be increasing residential learning programming? We will continue to utilize our current program model that is in place for second year and upper division students who live in on‐campus apartments. These programs are focused on topics that are of importance to sophomore students such as study abroad, selecting a major, finding undergraduate research opportunities, preparing a resume, and obtaining an internship.

14. What is your motivation for this change? The motivation for this Program is to improve the retention, graduation rates, and academic success of our students through greater engagement with campus resources. The revenue generated by housing additional students on campus will only cover the costs of providing services, programs, and amenities to them.

15. Will this have a negative impact on the Greek Community? The Greek community is a valued part of the San Diego State University community. Of the fraternities and sororities with houses, the model of housing greatly varies depending on the organization. For the chapters with access to housing, the Sophomore Success program will support the growth of experienced leaders in managing fraternities, sororities and their houses.  To this end, the Greek community leaders are already examining chapter management with the shift in student trends and developmental needs.  The Sophomore Success program will support the fraternity and sorority leadership in their work addressing the needs of this diverse community.

16. How will this effect new student recruitment? We believe the program will attract students and their families who appreciate the holistic academic, safety, and quality of living benefits this tailored approach provides.

17. How does the San Diego State University ‘West Campus’ proposal recently introduced by President Hirshman factor into this decision? The QUALCOMM Stadium, or “West Campus,” concept is a proposed approach to supporting SDSU’s long-term future academic, athletic, and residential goals. The proposal is not currently included in the planning of the Sophomore Success Program.
Contact Information for:


Office of Housing Administration & Residential Education Office

New Student and Parent Programs