College dorms are fast becoming a singles scene

thumbnailby Cree McCree

WHAT’S HAPPENING

  • Bunking with a roommate, for better or for worse, used to be a college rite of passage. These days, more students are seeking haven in private rooms. As of 2004, half of all US schools were including singles in new construction (The Record, 7 December 2011).
  • One-third of the rooms at Montclair State University in New Jersey are singles, while Rutgers University has 1,500 singles under construction. Like those at most schools, they’re configured as suites with shared baths and living areas.
  • While some critics fear that singles could lead to social isolation, communal rec rooms and food courts help foster interaction. And the price is right: MSU singles run $5,070 a semester, compared with $4,640 for doubles.

WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS

  • Most students today grew up with their own rooms, often guarded fiercely as “no parents allowed” domains. So it’s not very surprising that kids prefer to fly solo when they fly the coop.
  • As college costs continue to skyrocket, schools can help ease the pain by making living quarters homier. In the larger scheme of things, paying a little extra for apartment-style digs makes sense.
  • The trend toward singles dovetails with the move toward more stylish dorm decor.

RESOURCES

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