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Why Universities Are Phasing Out Luxury Dorms (The Atlantic)

Piecake

Member
Jun 11, 2004
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By the turn of this century, colleges had an increasing appetite for campus luxuries. A surge of students from the millennial generation were graduating from high schools nationwide, and many colleges found the simplest way to compete for attention in a crowded market was to build fancier facilities. Construction cranes became ubiquitous on campuses, and often the most high-profile projects involved student amenities—rock-climbing walls in recreation centers, swanky student unions with first-rate food services, and luxury ”residence halls" with private bathrooms—usually financed by borrowing. Between 2001 and 2012, the amount of debt taken on by colleges rose 88 percent, to $307 billion.

Now, after a building boom that lasted more than a decade, the pace of spending on lavish campus frills is slowing. Some 6.6 million square feet of space for dorms and student services opened on campuses in 2015, according to the higher-education construction consulting firm Sightlines, the leanest year for new buildings dedicated to student spaces since the company started tracking construction in 2000.

The reason behind this shift is a combination of growing concerns about rising tuition and student debt, declining numbers of high-school graduates, and the ever-fluctuating tastes of students and parents.

After building one of the country's most-expensive student-housing projects, a $168 million complex of apartment-style residences called University Commons, in 2007, Georgia State University officials worried about the impact of pricier housing on the ability of students to earn a degree. The university found that for every $5,000 in unmet financial need, a student was 12 percent less likely to graduate.

Affordability is also driving new housing projects at the University of California's San Francisco and San Diego campuses. In San Francisco, a shortage of on-campus beds and affordable off-campus housing ”threatens enrollment," said Leslie Santos, the executive director of housing services at UCSF. The San Francisco campus is breaking ground this fall on a new housing complex that reduces square footage per bed by a third in some cases, mostly by eliminating the living room.

”Students are more open to these new living arrangements than we give them credit for," said Thomas Carlson-Reddig, a partner at Little, an architectural firm that designs a dozen campus projects a year. ”If you can get the cost down, students will live in a closet."

”Today's Generation X parents don't care as much if their kids suffer in older-style dorms," said Kallay, the chief executive and cofounder of Render Experiences.

It's also unclear if the ”build it and they will come" approach actually worked in attracting students or keeping them through graduation. ”It doesn't cohere to how students make choices about where to go to college," said Kevin McClure, an assistant professor of higher education at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, who studies campus housing.

Some higher-education experts argue that ever-fancier amenities for students distract them from their studies—college students spend only a quarter of their week on academic pursuits—and encourage them to spend time alone in private kitchens and bedrooms rather than with other students in dining halls or lounges. Research shows that without the sense of community that often comes from living together in close communal quarters, students may have fewer opportunities to learn how to get along with different people and manage conflicts, or develop the friendships and networks that keep them in school.

https://www.theatlantic.com/educati...ersities-are-phasing-out-luxury-dorms/537492/
 

SliceSabre

Banned
Apr 3, 2014
20,536
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Akron, Ohio
www.youtube.com
I don't see the point in them. My college had us staying in dorms built in like the 70s, two to a room, two closets and a reasonable amount of space. Rooms had good a/c as well.

Biggest complaints we had about the rooms were the heavy doors, sorta dimply lit halls, and the fact the showers were group showers so yea people were going to see your dick, balls and ass and you had to leave your room to use the bathroom.

As long as it isn't a dump only the most prissy of kids should complain.
 
Jan 18, 2013
10,402
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I don't see the point in them. My college had us staying in dorms built in like the 70s, two to a room, two closets and a reasonable amount of space. Rooms had good a/c as well.

Biggest complaints we had about the rooms were the heavy doors, sorta dimply lit halls, and the fact the showers were group showers so yea people were going to see your dick, balls and ass and you had to leave your room to use the bathroom.

As long as it isn't a dump only the most prissy of kids should complain.

The amount some of your universities in America charge you and you often don't even get your own room is an incredible racket.
 

siddx

Magnificent Eager Mighty Brilliantly Erect Registereduser
Jun 1, 2009
17,331
1
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My last year of college they built a new dorm that was fancy as fuck, private bathrooms and rec rooms and huge windows, students were practically rioting to try to get a spot in it. Turned out they cheaped our on construction and built the walls so thin everyone could hear every whisper and fart on the entire floor.
 

Grizzlyjin

Supersonic, idiotic, disconnecting, not respecting, who would really ever wanna go and top that
Jun 23, 2004
24,048
40
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Yeah, my university started getting desperate after they built suite style dorms. They started locking all students into two year contracts, so they had to live on campus freshmen and sophomore year.

I was an RA for the apartment style dorms for 3 years of college. I think it's better to just go traditional. Students just stay in their individual suites otherwise. Makes it harder to get people to come out of their shells.
 

BTA

Member
Jan 30, 2014
4,253
0
315
Eh. My college had very nice dorms, at least where I lived junior and senior year.

But those two years I actually hung out more in the campus center because a ton of people I was becoming/became friends with were also there constantly. And a bad dorm isn't gonna keep people from watching Netflix by themselves, or otherwise feeling pushed to live off campus where they'll stay away even more.
 

Byakuya769

Member
Jul 31, 2007
22,318
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Wait... if my kids are in a smaller generation, that might mean college tuition growth will slow!

#blessed
 

Euron

Member
Jun 24, 2014
3,571
0
0
Universities: Millenials all want too many fancy things in their dorms

Millenial: I just want to not be in debt

Universities: NO, YOU WANT ROCK CLIMBING WALLS AND BEAN BAG CHAIRS






Source: My university charges $16,000 a year for housing
 

RockmanBN

Member
Apr 21, 2015
1,448
1
370
Nebraska
It's like 600-700 a month at my University's dorms where four guys get tiny individual rooms and share the kitchen and bathroom all together. Rather split with my brother 300 each than go to there.