If you’re a college student in the West, expect to bunk up with a couple roommates – or three. Midwestern college kids might just take on living with a friend.
That’s because some states – mostly in the West – provide more beds per student housing unit, while others – mostly in the Midwest – offer purpose-built properties with fewer beds per unit.
Across the nation, the average student housing unit built since 2008 houses 2.9 beds, equating to about 100 units and 300 beds per property, on average. However, those figures vary by region.
Utah claims the most beds per unit in the nation. Utah schools often buck national norms. Schools such as Utah State University and Brigham Young University consistently deliver new supply with higher beds per unit, sometimes topping 6 beds per unit on average. These properties also trend smaller at just 57 units on average.
The second highest volume of beds per unit is in Indiana at 3.7. Developments here are larger, averaging over 125 units and about 460 beds. California, a state with traditionally dense development (in both conventional and student housing) averages 3.3 beds per unit, tying with the showing in Colorado. Properties in both Colorado and California tend to run smaller at around 80 units per project on average. In Colorado, schools that have received the most development since 2008 tend to be in more urban settings, such as Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver and Fort Collins.
The three highest development states – Texas, Florida, and North Carolina – fall in line with the national norm, with roughly 2.9 student housing beds per unit.
States with the fewest beds per unit tend to be in the Midwest, where plentiful land in more suburban and rural locations allows for less density and less expensive development. In Iowa, the average beds per unit is 2.3 and average beds per property averages at about 86.
West Virginia, where developments trend larger with nearly 190 units on average, is the only non-Midwest state to register some of the nation’s smallest volumes of beds per unit.
Minnesota and Illinois claim average beds per unit of 2.5, while neighboring Ohio reports average beds per unit of 2.6. Within these three states, the schools claiming the highest beds per unit are large state schools, such as Illinois State University, University of Illinois, University of Minnesota, University of Toledo and University of Cincinnati.