More Warrnambool students than ever before are enquiring about living on campus at Deakin University.
The trend was observed at the university's open day on Sunday and residential services general manager Gabrielle Tobin said it was a great "stepping stone".
"We've got a lot more locals now showing interest in having a residential experience and they might be from five or ten kilometres down the road," Ms Tobin said. "You don't have to be from hundreds of kilometres away to live on res.
"They love the events we run and the sense of community. They're really interested in moving out of home even though they're from Warrnambool," she said.
It was the first physical open day in three years and included information sessions, tours of the facilities, labs and accommodation.
Organisers also fielded accommodation queries from across the region, Horsham, Mount Gambier, Melbourne and other areas.
Attendees included year 12 students, those completing a gap year, mums and dads returning to education and TAFE students moving to tertiary courses.
There was strong interest in the university's nursing, primary education and marine biology courses.
Former Warrnambool student Brad Woolstencroft, who is now the university's Business and Law Faculty partnerships and engagement manager, said he had come full circle.
"If I didn't have Deakin here I wouldn't have gone to university. I wouldn't have had the opportunity."
"Now that I'm working for Deakin I have a passion to give back and support the local community, especially students from low socio-economic, rural and regional areas."
Mr Woolstencroft said the campus offered a close-knit community, smaller class sizes and greater access to lecturers and professional staff.
UPDATED - Sunday
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