Four-Year Residential Experience

Numerous national studies demonstrate that a wide range of learning happens as a result of living on campus. As a leading Catholic liberal arts college for women, the College of Saint Benedict has a plan to increase the percentage of students who live in college-approved housing (on campus and those studying abroad) from 80 percent to 90 percent.  This plan begins with the class entering CSB in fall 2010.

Other top-ranking liberal arts schools have high percentages of students living on campus. In Minnesota, 96 percent of St. Olaf's students and 90 percent of Carleton's students live on campus.

Beyond living in the residence halls

The four-year residential experience goes beyond actual residential facilities.  It is the total campus experience that includes student activities and opportunities, campus policies, dining, recreation and fitness, and academic collaboration.

New student housing

Centennial Commons is the newest addition to the residential facilities at CSB, and opened for business with the 2012-2013 school year. The two-story, townhome style housing accommodates 124 students and one full-time residence director. Each fully furnished apartment houses four students and includes four bedrooms, two bathrooms, laundry, living room, kitchen and front porch. The housing complex also includes a Commons Building that provides the community with gathering space, study rooms, computer lab, kitchen and a multi-purpose room.

Frequently Asked Questions

How did this decision come about?

We have been working on our residential plan for the future since 2005.  There is clear evidence that indicates a wide range of learning happens as a result of living on-campus.  A four-year residency requirement provides us with the opportunity to support and enhance a student's learning and personal growth with intentionality and purpose from her first year through her senior year.

Who will be affected by the new residency plan?

Student entering in the fall of 2010 (the class of 2014) will enroll with a four-year residency requirement.  Students enrolled prior to fall 2010 will not be affected by the four-year residential plan and residency requirement.  The new residential facility will provide an on-campus housing option for juniors and seniors who desire on-campus housing but cannot be accommodated in our existing residential facilities.

Can students appeal to live off campus?

Juniors and seniors who wish to live off-campus can apply for a residency exception. Applications will be reviewed by a housing committee which will include student members. The college will determine how many residency exemptions will be approved each year.

Did CSB take into consideration the effects on the St. Joseph housing market and community?

We meet regularly with the City of St. Joseph and have kept them apprised of our plans and will continue to do so.

Questions about the College of Saint Benedict Four-Year Residential Experience can be directed to Jody Terhaar, Dean of Students,, 320-363-5601.