Open floor plan, stunning views, state-of-the-art fitness center, tanning beds, complimentary coffee bar – these are accommodations you come to expect from a luxurious city apartment or uniquely stylish boutique hotel. These aforementioned amenities cater to the future leaders, movers and shakers; they are better known as college students.

Student housing is a bit different nowadays, thanks in large part, to a change in living and amenity preferences. Gone are the days of cramming two residents – sometimes three – inside a 130-square-foot dorm room where nothing was off limits to sharing. Large, modern units, plenty of closet space, bathroom parity and amenities that would rival the best all-inclusive resort proved enticing to students. As a result, emerged modern and sophisticated – even fully furnished – off-campus apartments dotting the campus skyline, featuring premium services for undergraduates and graduate students living away from home.

The shift towards this luxurious style of student living has been gradual over the past decade; however, that has accelerated exponentially this year and beyond with the pandemic and its impact on higher education. The college experience will look and feel unlike anything we’ve seen before. Leaving home and moving into an on-campus residence hall was a rite of passage for young adults. Now, colleges and universities across the country are forced to “de-densify” campuses, imposing strict regulations on in-person learning and living, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Schools have significantly reduced residence hall occupancy – some limited to 15-20 percent capacity according to Harrison Street Real Estate – scaled back dine-in options and closed communal areas. Large lecture classes are fully remote, meaning students will be spending a majority of the fall semester in their rooms. This is problematic – or claustrophobic – for residents calling a tiny dorm room home for the next 15 weeks.

Off-campus housing becomes a necessity during a public health crisis, giving students a place to live that’s socially distant and away from crowded dorm rooms. Open concept living, private bathroom and fast internet bandwidth has never been so important than it is right now. These amenities have garnered the attention of parents, as demand grows exponentially for off-campus properties.

In fact, at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio, the school recently opened its newest off-campus housing facility, Campus Lofts. The 71-unit apartment complex includes 22 different floor plans available in one, two, three and four-bedrooms – ranging from 400 to 850 square feet – with accompanying bathroom facilities. High ceilings, contemporary furnishings and high-speed internet access make this place at desired destination for students attending YSU.

Among the uncertainty of the fall and months that lie ahead, one thing is for sure – the college experience for students will be very different. From classes to dorms, learners and educators will find themselves in a novel predicament. However, with so much unknown, there’s reassurance and stability with off-campus housing, providing students refugee from overcrowded gathering spaces and cramped residence halls.

For agents, this serves as both a reminder and an opportunity to continue to tap into the younger demographic that had, in the past, been hesitant to consider homeownership. This savvy college generation could now be more interested in the prospect of buying a home as opposed to campus living…especially given the current state of mortgage rates.

*Not all borrowers will qualify. Contact us for more information on fees and terms.

Contributor, P., & Contributor, J. (2020, February 06). Campus Lofts Under Construction for Fall 2020. Retrieved August 27, 2020, from

Off-campus housing is seeing an increase in demand, says Harrison Street CEO. (2020, August 24). Retrieved August 27, 2020, from