Online Room Self-Selection Improves Critical First Year Student Satisfaction

 

Room assignments can be critical to resident satisfaction, which in turn can have a significant effect on a student’s entire higher education experience. This is especially true for first-year students. According to U.S. News & World Report, one in three first-year students won’t return for their sophomore year. Most housing professionals agree that the on-campus residential experience is a highly influential factor in retention.

 

“Living on campus for at least the first year contributes to student success by building community and connecting students to services that support them through the transition to college life,” said Brady Rowe, Housing Occupancy and Systems Manager at the University of Oregon. “Room assignment satisfaction plays an important role by allowing students to focus on their college transition. A key piece for room assignment satisfaction with the current generation of students includes being engaged and having a say in the assignment process.”

 

 

“I’m officially sold on room selection for first year students. Last year we had over 200 room change requests. This year, we only have 12!”

– Brady Rowe, Housing Occupancy and Systems Manager, University of Oregon

 

With 27 different room types and 20 academic residential communities (living learning communities), as well as buildings with single-gender floors and others with multi-gender floors, Brady said that achieving room assignment satisfaction at Oregon has historically been a bit tricky. That all changed when he and his team began using StarRez Room Selection for the assignment process.

 

<strong>Freedom of Choice for Students, Control for Staff</strong>

Freedom of Choice for Students, Control for Staff

StarRez Online Room Selection empowers residents to select their own room online. For housing staff, it allows management of student room selection business rules and eligibility.  Housing staff has the ability to define what rooms are available to whom based on gender, classification, residential community, and other profiles to ensure their desired resident balance is achieved.

 

Residential Community Students (Living Learning) Select Their Own Rooms

“There are many settings in StarRez that give us control over which rooms students were able to select,” said Brady. This is especially important for their residential communities to ensure only those students eligible for those communities can select the designated rooms.  “We’re able to make sure students who are approved for a certain community only select from rooms reserved for that community. We’re also able to monitor how floors were filling up in buildings with single-gender floors, and release additional floors as needed to make sure the final gender balance was able to accommodate all students without leaving some unassigned.”

 

Brady said that in the past, it was a challenge to find just the right balance in assigning all students. Many times, students were simply not clear when indicating their preferences on their housing applications. “We would assign students based on their preferences, but after releasing assignments some would say, ‘That’s not what I meant.’”  Giving them the ability to self-select their room eliminated any issues.

 

<strong>The Results Are In!  Optimized Efficiency and Improved Satisfaction</strong>

The Results Are In! Optimized Efficiency and Improved Satisfaction

Since switching to StarRez Room Selection, Brady’s office has seen a dramatic decrease in emails and concerns about room assignments.

 

“I’m officially sold on room selection for first year students. We sent out finalized assignment information at the same time this year as last year. After one week last year, we had over 200 room change requests. This year, we only have 12!” 

 

Brady added that Room Selection has also given students the power to resolve issues without the assistance of his staff. “In the morning, we’d review our emails and see that students had sent a request the night before, only to email a few minutes later saying, ‘Never mind! I did it myself with Room Selection!’”

 

Delivering Exceptional Resident Experiences

StarRez offers the most complete, easy-to-use, and fully integrated solution for student housing operations of any size. Our  comprehensive student housing solution features:

  • Online housing applications
  • Online roommate and room selection
  • Roommate matching
  • Core staff administrative functions such as bulk room assignments/auto-allocation, billing, reporting, email, and mail merge
  • Complete integration with other campus systems
  • More information

 

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