Student Life

Poor Grades? Blame Your Roommate

Elizabeth Hoyt

August 05, 2018

Poor Grades? Blame Your Roommate
Not happy with your GPA? You may be able to blame it on your roommate.
Not happy with your GPA? You may be able to blame it on your roommate. Everyone knows that living in close proximity to another human being is difficult but, according to several studies, your GPA can directly be affected by your current roommate situation. That means that poor living situations your mood and your future can be negatively affected. This actually makes sense when you think about it. If you’re in an unhappy living situation, you’re more likely to become stressed, feel less comfortable in your surrounding and, therefore, are less likely to be able to focus on your schoolwork.
A study from Dartmouth College found that one of the biggest stressors students experience in college is problems with roommates, which can significantly influence a student grade point average, especially freshman year. Additionally, eCampus News reported that roommate conflicts rank amongst the top five reasons for dropping out of college.
As a result, schools have begun to utilize self-selecting online services to match potential roommates, allowing students to choose their own “blind” roommates. Services vary – some, like an app called Roomsurf, allow students to fill out surveys while others, like the app called RoomSync, uses data from students’ Facebook profiles to match one another as compatible roommates. There’s also another website, which has recently been utilized by Mount Ida College and Tulane University of Louisiana, called RoommateClick.
Schools like the University of Florida and Rutgers University have utilized such services to assist in the roommate matching process. RoommateClick also allows schools to customize settings in hopes to combat any misuse of the matching tool. For example, schools can choose whether or not to allow a student to post photos to prevent discrimination. The site also monitors student profile for offensive material when they sign up for the service and, though there’s no surefire way to prevent discrimination, the results seem to be successful. According to eCampus News reports, “schools that have used self-selecting online services have reported a 65-percent reduction in roommate conflicts, while 48 percent of residence hall staffers said conflicts were ‘less severe’ after adopting the service.” Furthermore, after performing research on using the RoomSync service, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville reported that research demonstrated students who used the tool were "significantly more successful in college and had a better overall college experience." The process is said to be comparable to that of online dating.

Do you think services to help roommate matching is a good idea? Why or why not?

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