The Gen Y Population of roughly 80 million is coming of (college) age, and universities are struggling to keep up.

More than 3 million high school students are expected to graduate every year until the 2018–2019 school year. And while more students than ever are pursuing higher education, only five states (California, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, and Utah) have been able to provide enough dorm beds to maintain residency levels vis-à-vis growing enrollments, according to a new white paper, “Surging Student Populations Stress On-Campus Housing,” released in June by the National Student Housing Council (NSHC), a part of the National Multi Housing Council.

Several factors underlie the shortfall, says Brent Little, president of Dallas-based Fountain Residential, a development and asset management company specializing in student housing. To start, state universities can’t build new housing, because of a lack of land or a lack of bonding capacity.

“Some universities are seeing increased enrollments in one year of 3,000 students,” Little says. “If approximately 30 to 35 percent of that enrollment lives on campus, that would be a need of 900 to 1,000 beds required for just that year. Schools can’t build the product fast enough to keep up.”

It’s not just demand—supply is dwindling in some places as well, through obsolescence. “A tremendous amount of product that was built on campus was created back in the ’60s and ’70s and is still being used today,” Little says. “In most instances, it’s cheaper to build new than to retrofit, and [you] can increase density at the same time.”

To view the report, go to [M]

Oliver Munday