Working Paper 112
Rooming with Joe vs. Zhou: Differential Impacts of International Roommates on College Outcomes
Published April 2024

This study examines the influence of roommate pairings between international and
domestic students on college outcomes. We employ quasi-experimental methods,
using institutional data (7,000+ students spanning 15 years) from a US liberal arts
college serving low-income students. Results show positive effects on first-year GPA
for domestic students, with effects persisting but diminishing over time. A significant
increase in second-year retention is also observed. However, no graduation effect and
only a small global outlook effect are found. For international students, rooming with
domestic US students showed no difference compared to rooming with other
international students. This points to the potential benefits of intentional policies to
promote interactions among individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures.