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Published May 15, 2012, 04:16 AM

More Students Choosing to Live on Campus at UM-Crookston

CROOKSTON, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Whether it's gas prices, convenience or spending more time with friends, more students are choosing to live on campus at the University of Minnesota-Crookston.

CROOKSTON, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Whether it's gas prices, convenience or spending more time with friends, more students are choosing to live on campus at the University of Minnesota-Crookston.

As the university grows, school officials are dealing with a housing crunch and building a $9.8 million dorm.

Students say there aren't that many rental options for them outside of campus and with more dorms being built, it's easier to just live on campus.

"I live in Skyberg right now and next year I'll be in Evergreen," UMC senior Matt Johnson said.

Johnson has lived on campus since he was a freshman. He says there are lots of advantages to living there.

"Everything's really close so you can get to classes really easily, it's a good way to meet people. I've made a lot of friends," Johnson said.

In the past six years, enrollment has grown by nearly 500 students, which is good, but has created a housing shortage. Johnson says there are many reasons more people are living on campus.

"I mean driving obviously. People don't want to drive especially in the wintertime up here. But meeting new people too," Johnson said.

Last fall the university had to rent motel space and will have to again this fall for nearly 50 students.

"It's been a recurring problem for the past 5 or 6 years and we've had to rent some facilities downtown," Director of Residential Life Gary Willhite said.

Construction on a new apartment-style dorm is underway. It will give students more options and house nearly 150 students. It will also include a new classroom, capable of seating more than 100 students.

"Just had a lot more upper classman decide to live on campus for three to four years, so the demand is there so we keep building," Willhite said.

The new dorm will be the third one built in the past seven years. Students like Johnson think it's a great way to keep students involved on campus.

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