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Large Universities Changing Freshman Experience

A growing number of college freshmen are learning that the first-year experience doesn't have to be a variation of survival of the fittest.

The University of Missouri and many other schools nationwide now encourage freshmen to live and learn in small groups with those who have similar interests.

The students share rooms with each other and take courses together. They also meet in small groups with a peer adviser who helps them navigate the school's bureaucracy.

Proponents of freshmen interest groups say such programs can make large campuses "psychologically smaller." Researchers say students who participate are less likely to drop out and more likely to graduate.