Luxury and Community-Centric Residence Halls

Optimizing Design of Distinct but Complementary Student Living Spaces


This brief explores the recent "amenities arms race," which has led many institutions to do away with doubled-loaded corridors in favor of luxury and community-centric residence halls. By strategically leveraging both types of residence halls, institutions can appeal to students at every stage, from prospective student to underclassman to senior.

This brief is one in a six-volume series on Campus 2025. To learn more, explore the other briefs on makerspaces, industry interface spaces, shared and flexible research labs, corporate-inspired offices, and active learning spaces.

Key observations from our research

1. Institutions face direct competition from private developers, who are eager to capitalize on the estimated $4-$5 billion student housing market.

2. Community-centric residence halls are ideal for freshmen because they promote social immersion and interactions with peers.

3. One institution increased first-to-second-year retention rates by 13% by promoting community-centric living for underclass students.

4. Upperclass students pose less of a retention risk, but the option of luxury housing can compel them to remain on campus and take part in the campus community.

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