Community College Housing

The number of community colleges offering on-campus housing is on the rise. Learn more about campus living options, compare the pros and cons of dorm life, and get help deciding what housing is best for you.
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Campus housing has traditionally been seen as a privilege reserved for students of four-year colleges and universities. However, as the demand for affordable postsecondary education continues to rise, so does the availability of campus housing on community college campuses nationwide. While the number of community colleges offering on-campus living is still relatively small, the number is steadily growing. Why the sudden interest in dorm living from community college students? There appear to be many reasons for this rising trend.
 
The Demand for On-Campus Housing
 
A recent report from Community College Week highlights the increasing demand for on-campus housing many community colleges are now facing. According to the report, around 80 community colleges currently offer residence halls or dormitories, which is a relatively small percentage of the more than 1,200 community colleges across the country. However, more schools are announcing plans for building housing on campus, as community colleges are working to increase their presence as a viable postsecondary alternative to more expensive four-year schools.
 
Many community colleges are now recruiting student athletes and boasting specialized programs that draw students from outside their immediate area. Without the ability to commute, these students are now on the hunt for affordable housing around the community college campus. On-campus dormitories and apartments have become the best solution for many schools today. As other schools see the popularity of campus housing, they are also implementing plans to construct their own housing to remain competitive in the community college market.
 

In an effort to provide a more complete college experience to students, many community colleges are adding student housing to the campus map. College dormitories have been a mainstay at four-year colleges and universities throughout their history, but housing at a community colleges – home of the adult college student – is a relatively new idea. Are community college dormitories a good idea? Many schools and students are responding to that question with a resounding “yes.”
 
Community colleges are responding to a desire from students for more campus housing. The report in Diverse Issues in Higher Education stated that in 2000, 225 community colleges across the country offered dormitories on their campuses. By 2010, that number had increased to 260 schools. Just two years later, in 2012, that number had risen sharply to 391 two-year institutions. If the numbers are any indication, demand for campus housing at community colleges is on the rise.
 
Community Colleges Weigh Campus Housing Benefits
 
Although the addition of dormitories is growing at community colleges nationwide, the total number of campuses boasting student housing is still too few to collect good evidence on whether these dorms will pay off for schools. However, a report at the Glens Falls Post-Star found that many community colleges think the addition of dormitories is a positive one for two-year schools. Of the 30 community colleges in the state of New York, 15 now offer some type of on-campus housing to students.
 
According to the report, community colleges may enjoy significant . . . read more

Community colleges have historically provided a much different environment than the traditional four-year university. One of the biggest differences between the two is that students at community colleges do not tend to live in a single community on or near the college campus. However, many community colleges across the country are tuning in to the advantages on-campus housing can provide to students of all ages. This article will explore the new trend of living on a community college campus and some of the schools around the country that are adopting this model for a richer, more community-oriented academic environment.

Benefits of Living On Campus
 
Community colleges are now realizing some of the benefits of living on campus that four-year colleges have known for generations, including:

  • Better proximity to college resources like the library and recreation center
  • Exposure to international lifestyles that comes from living near fellow students from around the globe
  • The ability to fully immerse oneself in the college experience by remaining in the environment after classes are finished for the day
  • Ease of meeting other students and building relationships with those in a similar season of life
  • Apartments or dormitories that are often fully furnished and affordable, providing an economic housing option to cash-strapped students
Today, many community college students are beginning to enjoy these benefits as their school campuses are adding housing to the mix. We will take a look at some of the specific colleges that allow students to live on campus or are adding housing options in the near future.
 

Dormitories were once typically reserved for students attending university campuses, but more community colleges have begun opening dorms for their students. The inclusion of dorms on some community college campuses is garnering much attention, as well as surprising tension. While many assert that dorms for community college campuses provide greater conveniences for their students, others argue that the dorms should only be reserved for university campuses.

The Demand for Dormitory Living
 
According to the Los Angeles Times, the rising cost of tuition at many universities is pushing a larger number of students towards the more affordable degree pathways provided by community colleges. Given these increasing enrollment numbers, many community colleges are looking for ways to accommodate the growing ranks of students, and dormitories are becoming a popular solution. 
 
Speaking on this latest development is Karen Kent from the American Association of Community Colleges in Washington D.C., “We do think it's a trend for more community colleges to provide residential housing for students.” Indeed, this trend is undeniable, as schools in Texas, Minnesota, Florida, and Washington are already completing the construction of dorms on select community college campuses. 
 
Experts predict that California’s community colleges may be among the most popular campus locations for new dormitory construction, given the immense numbers of students enrolled on these campuses. In fact, 11 of the state’s community colleges already provide dormitories for their students. Currently, an estimated 2.8 million students are enrolled in the 110 community colleges of California, and the number is expected to rise. Remarkably, this immense number equates to nearly . . . read more

While most community colleges were traditionally designed to provide local students convenient access to higher education, many community colleges are now designing dormitories and on-campus housing venues to increase the academic, social, and networking benefits for students.

Benefits of Living Near Campus
 
As students are seeking increasingly convenient accommodations, many new community college dormitories are drawing in a wider variety of students. As U Magazine explains, “More and more community colleges are building dormitories on campus. Some are doing it as a recruiting tool, to lure a better grade of students, while others are adding beds simply to serve their community and students better.” Ultimately, dormitories are intended to be a convenient and fully inclusive option for college students. 
 
As community colleges are increasing their funding for dorms and campus housing, many community college students assert that living near campus, specifically in community college dorms, helps students to gain access to unique advantages. As one community college student reveals to U Magazine, “on-campus housing helps students achieve better marks on their report cards.” Added to this, the student explains, "I would say it's had a factor in some grades.  I mean, you're right here and have all the things that you need, and so long as you're willing, there are people to help you […] and there's support groups for them.” 
 
Additionally, many students assert that living on campus, specifically in the dorms, allows students to save money on high gas prices, as the commute to class is far diminished. 
 
Community College Dormitories
 
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COMMUNITY COLLEGE HOUSING