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Rec Facility Use Tied to Positive Outcomes for Students

Jason Scott

The University of Arkansas conducted an analysis of outcomes for freshmen students based on their use of recreational facilities.

The study looked at the freshmen cohort from the 2016-17 school year, and compared the number of ID swipes at facilities to things like grade point average and retention rates.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the analysis showed that students who used rec facilities more often performed better in class and were more likely to return to school for their sophomore years compared to students who used rec facilities less frequently.

Overall, according to the school, students who visited rec facilities 2-3 times per week had an average cumulative GPA that was 0.7 points higher than students who never visited rec facilities.

“It is not surprising to see such a positive relationship between collegiate recreation involvement and student success,” director of University Recreation Jeremy Battjes told the school’s website. “The variety of services, programs and facilities UREC operates allows us to reach a large audience and be a positive contributor to student success at the University of Arkansas, leading to better retention rates.”

Among the cohort, it was found that 83.8 percent of rec facility users were retained into their sophomore year. Only 77 percent of non-facility users came back for their sophomore year. The difference in retention rate makes an important financial impact for the school’s bottom line. The school reported that the loss of credit hours from those students who never used facilities and weren’t retained cost the school $1.3 million from sophomore year alone.

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