The Impact of On-Campus Housing Mandates
Digested from RealPage
Last year, four schools added on-campus housing mandates. Even with these requirements, off-campus housing occupancy does not always decrease.
A handful of schools around the country have altered their housing requirements to require undergraduates to live on campus. While most of the changes affect freshmen, some do impact sophomores and juniors.
“Among the 175 core universities tracked by Axiometrics, a RealPage company, 101 had living requirements in place for the fall 2018 semester,” wrote RealPage’s Alma Pena. “The majority of these schools – 74 – require freshmen to live on campus, while living requirements at 26 of these universities also include sophomores. One – Notre Dame – requires juniors live on campus.”
In addition to Notre Dame (which only required freshmen to live on campus last year), Louisiana State (none to freshman), San Diego State University (freshman to sophomore) and University of New Mexico (none to freshman) are implementing new on-campus living requirements this fall.
So how do these changes affect off-campus housing? Pena writes that four schools (New Mexico State University, North Carolina State University, University of Oregon and University of Alabama at Birmingham) that mandated that freshmen live on campus in 2017 saw occupancy among on-campus housing increase 690 basis points (bps), while off-campus occupancy fell 140 bps.
Requirements mandating that freshmen live on campus do not always harm off-campus demand. At University of Alabama at Birmingham experienced an increase in demand in August 2017.
“Average off-campus housing occupancy increased by 300 bps – to 95.7% – compared to August 2016,” Pena writes. “Though such occupancy is not attributed to leases from freshman, the increase is in part due to overall UAB’s enrollment growth. Enrollment at the school has seen an average growth of 2.9 percent since 2009, when it turned positive. In 2017, overall enrollment increased by 7.0 percent, or 1,367 students.”
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