Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences


Student Housing Market Assessment

In 2016 Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences engaged B&D to conduct a market analysis to determine if a market existed to support adding student housing for the school’s new Greenfield Road campus. Shifting demographics prompted the college to consider providing this strategic asset to position itself for the future, illustrate commitment to its academic mission, and strengthen its brand. The objective of the assessment was not only to evaluate demand for this housing, but also to evaluate the opportunities, benefits, and/or risks associated with introducing it to the campus. The project’s work plan began with our proprietary Strategic Asset Value (SAV) analysis, which gleaned input from various campus leaders through conversations about their impressions of a residential campus and what they would like to see with the potential introduction of student housing. We examined the college’s existing conditions with respect to enrollment trends, demographic composition, and off-campus market conditions. A quantitative survey was sent to all current College students and prospective students to understand their living situations, assess their interest in the proposed project, and test the planned unit types. Results from these analyses were then used in our proprietary Demand-Based Programming model to arrive at a recommendation for the number of beds, if any, needed to warrant developing the project. The outcome of our analyses reflected the vision agreed to in the SAV and identified a likely target market for college-provided housing of unmarried students between the ages of 18 and 24 with no children. Total demand was projected to be 77 to 124 beds in a mix of studio, one-, and four-bedroom units in single- and double-occupancy configurations based on conservative and aggressive capture rates. We further advised the college to master-lease apartments for its students at a nearby apartment complex to help build a residential student contingent and support recruitment and retention efforts for students outside of Lancaster County.