What are key considerations for administrators when deciding whether to provide more single dorm rooms on campus?”
“Most freshman are in a fragile state during their first year and placing them in a single room can increase the feeling of isolation, leading to lower retention rates. They often need a ready-made roommate/buddy that can help ease the transition.
“However, on the other end of the spectrum, upper-level students often are looking for options to live on campus, but in their own controlled apartment-like environment.
Link to main story: College roommate not wanted
“I believe universities need to be very careful, introduce a touch of social engineering with regard to the room selection and assignment process, and design community spaces that encourage students to gather outside of rooms.”
—Joseph Herzog, principal, Shepley Bulfinch
“Decisions around unit mix on campus should be made by using data and by demographics. When it comes to data, benchmarking and student success outcomes should be major drivers of these decisions (two great resources for this are ACUHO-I and Skyfactor).
“In addition, it is important to take a careful look at desired outcomes and student demographics. If the goal is to add more freshmen beds, singles should be seen as an accommodation, not a standard because of the benefits of double occupancy living for freshman success.
“For upperclassmen, graduate students, and especially students returning to college to embark on a second career, singles become much more important, if not a necessity.”
—Dan Oltersdorf, chief learning officer, Campus Advantage.
Matt Zalaznick is senior associate editor.