Student housing has come a long way in the decades since most Baby Boomers went to college. The said generation had a twin bed, desk and chair, maybe a hot plate and Crock Pot, in tiny dorm rooms. The bathroom was down the hall and the gym was across the quad but now is a whole new different scene.

As students head to college campuses in August and September, more are luxuriating in spacious apartments steps from class with premium amenities. There was off-campus housing when Boomers were undergrads, too, but it tended to be somewhat run down, and it rarely offered luxuries.

Two major trends seem to be driving this growth in upscale student housing. The first is the population increase in the 18 to 24 year old demographic, which has soared from 27 million in 2000 to close to 31 million in 2016. While the age group has been fairly flat since then, it’s projected to grow again slightly for the next decade and then strongly after that.  Overall growth has spurred demand for more housing and a newer, nicer supply.

The second trend is the increase in international students. According to the Migration Policy Institute, more than a million international students were enrolled at U.S. colleges in the last 2 year studied. Over the course of the past seven post-war decades, there’s been a five-fold increase, and international admissions now represent five percent of overall enrollment, the group reported.

Many of these international students are master’s or doctoral candidates working in high-earning fields like engineering, information technology, math and management, according to MPI, and heavily self-funding their studies. Traditional dormitory housing isn’t necessarily the ideal setup for this cohort, and they have the means – including professional employment here – to afford superior alternatives.

Lifestyle features at private student housing include some of the same amenities you’d find in upscale condo communities. Pools, luxurious clubhouses, fitness centers and large screen televisions are common.

The differences, of course, are that the students don’t own their units, and may be paired with roommates they didn’t know before moving in together. Even with the ‘prototypical roommate from hell,’ they’re still living more comfortably together than they would in a tiny dorm room. The rooms themselves are larger, and each occupant has more comfortable, amenity-rich community space to escape into when desired.

Student housing projects are finally catching up to the scale of luxury housing in both design and amenities. larger pool decks with scenic views, an increase in on-site dog parks, as well as expansive outdoor sport zones for games. Exercise room size and sophistication are also growing and are more frequently including yoga studios and group fitness rooms. The integration of ride sharing zones for pickups and drop-offs are becoming the norm, as well, acknowledging current realities.

About the writer:

Shaura Cuyan writes about all the hottest Real Estate trends and predictions for Summit VA Solutions! She has previously written for a number of freelancing gigs and writes her own blog on lifestyle and current issues. She is a Graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Communication, taking up her Masters in Development Communication.

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