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CWC to review its free summer housing pilot

Aug 23, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

About a dozen students successfully completed the free summer housing program offered this year at Central Wyoming College.

Through the pilot program, students who completed 12 credit hours of coursework during the summer stayed in CWC's apartments free of charge.

Jonathan Rasbach, resident life coordinator at CWC, said 18 students signed up for the program initially, but two withdrew mid-semester. Of the 16 who remained, he said 70 percent successfully completed the 12 credit hours needed for the housing scholarship. And four students earned their degrees during the summer.

"That was a huge success," Rasbach said. "Our goal in doing this pilot program was to encourage people to finish their degrees. ... So I'd say that worked pretty well."

Issues

Administrators had hoped that the program would also lead to an increase in summer school enrollment, but Rasbach said fewer students took advantage of the offer than expected.

"We actually had fewer people living on campus this summer than in recent years," he said. "I was surprised."

He guessed that some students already had summer plans lined up and knew they wouldn't be able to complete 12 credits during the break.

Others apparently overestimated their abilities: Rasbach said some students who failed to complete their coursework didn't have the money to pay for their time spent living on campus. Rent for each two-bedroom apartment is about $400 a month and covers utilities, internet access, expanded basic cable and television.

"It's very competitive, (but) it was an expense they didn't necessarily budget for," Rasbach said. "That definitely became a difficult situation. ... There are some things we need to reconsider or maybe restructure if we were to offer this again."

He said staff and administrators will analyze the program this year to determine whether the free housing program will be in place again next summer.
 

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