Morrisville State College


Student Housing Advisory Services

Morrisville State College’s mission statement highlights the importance of its residential experience and states that it strives “to create a vibrant campus community for personal interaction and growth.” Changing market conditions—including enrollment recovery and retention rate increases―led Morrisville to explore how strategic improvements to its housing stock could further its mission and improve the residential experience. To address these goals, the college engaged the advisory services of Brailsford & Dunlavey, along with Trudeau Architects, in the fall of 2016 to assess the existing on-campus student housing portfolio, reveal future housing demand, and define students’ housing needs and preferences.

The B&D project team developed a student housing market analysis plan that evaluated the existing housing portfolio and provided market-based recommendations for the campus master planning project. The market analysis plan included a demographic study of enrollment trends, stakeholder interviews and focus groups, and an analysis of the surrounding off-campus market. It also included a student survey, which was the basis for the predictive analytics methodology used to determine housing demand and unit type preferences.

While the demand for additional on-campus beds is negligible, B&D’s analysis revealed that there exists an imbalance in the mix of on-campus unit types offered to students. They preferred single apartments and suite-style units that offer privacy and independence over traditional units. Despite this preference, nearly half the students reported they would live in a triple to save money, demonstrating their high fee sensitivity. After consolidating the outcomes of its analyses, B&D and Trudeau prescribed a market-responsive set of recommendations, including organizing residential neighborhoods by class year, increasing the amount of single-user bathrooms and amenity spaces in the residence halls, and renovating select traditional-style halls into non-freshman housing. B&D also created a financial model to determine the feasibility of each project recommendations.