According to the National Center for Education Statistics, as of the fall of 2016, 20.5 million students attended college after high school graduation and that number is continually growing. Because so many students are looking for the perfect college to attend, their decision is no longer based simply on academics, but the design and aesthetic appeal of the campus. Students have a very clear idea and vision of what makes a university unique and better than the rest. By increasing the magnetism of your university, it will become your best and most effective recruiting tool that will set your school apart from the many schools with whom you are competing.
University Business Magazine concludes that “campus unity ” is the number one thing that makes a campus feel like a campus. It is the “harmonious interplay” of innovative exterior and interior building design with opening spaces which promotes a feeling of confidence and positivity in the university. The ultimate achievement in recruitment is when a student steps onto campus and immediately knows that this is the campus of their dreams.
What design features are students looking for on campus?
Prospective students are looking closely at the design, aesthetics and amenities that a school has to offer. In designing spaces that include a combination of areas that will allow for collaboration, connection and focused study, you will create a foundation for student success.
Places to Connect and Collaborate
Every prospective student’s vision of the their campus experience is different. Some like an urban, modern campus, other’s want gothic architecture and the variety of preferences are innumerable.
One of the biggest draws for prospective students is collaborative spaces. Creating comfortable places in common areas will spontaneously bring peers and faculty together. An important part of the college experience is interacting and coming together with others in the campus community. By interspersing communal areas among classrooms, lecture halls and cafes, you can support learning through community. By creating common areas that embrace collaboration, it will enhance the vision of a positive campus experience.
The only place to study on a college campus isn’t just in the library. Prospective students want to know that in common areas that their is space carved out for quiet work and focus. In a recent study, 70 percent of college students said that this was the one thing that their college campus was lacking–quiet study spaces. Incorporating quiet study nooks into common areas.
A recent survey by APPA’s Center for Facilities Research to measure the impact of facilities on the recruitment of college students, determined that residence halls were the second most important factor in choosing a university. Including design features that include areas that support social interaction and privacy are important in enhancing the residence life experience. Creating a positive residence experience is a critical factor in retention and success of a university’s students, Further designing residence halls to feel like home through furniture choice and natural lighting is important to prospective students,
Increasing the magnetism of colleges and university will have significant impacts on campus recruitment and enrollment. By considering the importance of design in enhancing the university experience, you will not only attract top students, but make your university stand apart from the competition.