Where students live during school, fall census 1993 to present
Where students live during school, 1993 to present, by undergraduates, graduates and all students. All information below pertains to the creation of this document.
Faculty and staff zip codes
Also see zip codes of faculty and staff for 2001 to present.
Findings of interest
Commuting zip code range
We defined a range of zip codes of plausible places a student could live in and commute to UCB. We took the first three numbers of the zip code to define this range (800 through 806, plus 809). These zip codes cover cities from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs and Breckenridge to Brighton. We realize that someone could live outside of this range and commute to classes a few days per week, but we've judged it more likely that addresses outside the range are actually home/parent addresses, than the during-school local address of part-time long-commuting students. We also realize that some of the zips included (e.g., Colorado Springs) would be a really long way to commute.
Identifying where students live
Students can have addresses of different types on the student records system. If the "mailing" address of the student was in the commuting zip code range then we took that. Otherwise if the "permanent" address was in the zip code range then we took that if the student was a graduate student. If the student was an undergraduate we took the "permanent" address only if the student lived in a residence hall in the four years prior to the check, and the current "permanent" address is different from the "permanent" address when the student lived in the residence halls. For 2001 and later, the zip code from personnel files was used last if the student's University of Colorado employee zip code was in the defined range. Otherwise we set the student's zip code to be unknown. Examples
Our rule assumes that if an undergraduate lives in a residence hall (as do over 90% of entering freshmen), then is enrolled after that and is NOT living in a residence hall, the student has not moved back home.
The earliest fall for which could we do calculations is 1993 (reliable residence hall info first available for 1989)
For graduate students, we get no known local address for under 10%, with no change in proportion unknown over time (6% for 1993, 5% for 2009)
For undergraduates, we get a larger proportion of unknown (22% in 1993, 18% in 2009). With an emergency contact system now in place, the university has attempted to make a better effort of obtaining students' addresses. For instance, in 2003, the percent of undergraduates with an unknown zip code was 40%.
A change in method. In analyses done in 2001, we took permanent addresses in the zip range for all students with no mailing address. We now believe that substantial proportions of the addresses we thought were local, and that we used in analysis, were actually parent addresses. Of course the problem was more severe for Colorado residents, many of whom have parents in the Denver-Boulder area in the commuting zip code range.
Adjusting for unknown zips
Our analyses assume that
Last revision 01/27/10
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