How Student Housing Affects Enrollment

In the past, college dorms and off-campus apartments were expected to be drab and sparse–simply a place to sleep after a day spent at class and the library. But parents who went to college 30 years ago may be shocked to discover how modern student housing is now.

Today’s students–who pay more for their college experience than any previous generation–have higher expectations for the quality of their housing. These young adults want an all-inclusive, convenient and comfortable space to call home. As a response, colleges and universities are scrambling to attract top students by offering superior student housing options.

Student Housing Vs. Enrollment

College enrollment is only expected to grow, causing greater student housing demand. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics data, the number of university-enrolled students grew from 17.3 million in 2004 to 20.2 million in 2014. The NCES has projected that number will reach 23 million by 2020.

Some campuses have already experienced a campus housing shortage, placing hundreds of students in temporary housing. As enrollment has inflated, on-campus construction has not met the new demand. This leaves many students struggling to find adequate, affordable housing near their campus.

Great Expectations

Lack of student housing options might not have hindered overall enrollment numbers, but it could certainly persuade top candidates to look elsewhere for their education. Students today expect amenities like private bedrooms, full kitchens, on-site laundry, private bathrooms, fitness facilities and wireless internet. A few campuses have responded by building new facilities with these amenities, as well as retail shops, outdoor social spaces, and 24-hour fitness centers.

However, not all campuses can accommodate the growing need for updated housing. And, not all students can afford the rising costs of on-campus housing. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, “sticker shock” from high housing costs can deter low-income students from applying even when they’re academically qualified. Students who lack sufficient financial aid can also suffer: They’re more likely to work more hours or skimp on textbooks, affecting their educational success. These students are also more likely to take on higher interest private loans or drop out of school due to the pressure of student housing on top of tuition.

The Off-Campus Solution

Search engines like¬†are an easy solution for students and campuses looking for all-inclusive student housing. These home rental search websites can accommodate the growing number of university students, offer a variety of affordable housing options and attract quality candidates with top-notch amenities. Take a tour of 4Stay’s website today to view an extensive selection of off-campus student housing options.



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