Luxury student accommodation related to poorer academic performance, says US study

The study also suggests that luxury accommodation allows for less socialising among students

Students who stay in luxury accommodation achieve, on average, lower grades that those who stay in more traditional style student accommodation, according to a study carried out in the United States. 

The study, which examined the academic performances of college students staying in accomodation with a luxury-style apartment design that provided privacy and added amenities and students staying in a traditional double-corridor design with shared bathrooms at the ends, found that those staying in the latter type of accommodation achieved higher first semester grade point averages.

The authors of the report, Fred Volk and Joshua T. Brown, writing in the Times Higher Education magazine stated that “the design of the luxury-apartment style emphasised privacy and was more isolating, whereas the design of the traditional corridor emphasised community and allowed for more socialising among students”. 

The report also highlights that the option of luxury student accommodation led to a segregation of students by class and race.

Volk and Brown argue that luxury accommodation, “at best…directly discourages the development of inter-class and inter-racial relationships” and at worst “could impact campus tension between groups based on class and race by promoting disparate housing experiences”. 

The authors of the report warn universities against building luxury accommodation in order to “up-charge for the luxury student housing to generate additional revenues for the institution”, cautioning against these “market-driven approaches”. 

Luxury student accommodation have become increasingly common in Dublin in recent years, with some complexes offering features such as gyms, cinemas, and roof terraces. 

Due to the shortage of housing in Dublin, students are often forced to pay a higher price for purpose built luxury student accommodation because more affordable options are not available. 

The price of accommodation has been a rising cause of concern for students in recent years, with Trinity students among thousands who marched in a Raise the Roof protest in May to demand affordable student accommodation.

A study released in August outlined that accommodation remains the highest cost linked to higher education for parents around Ireland.

The attitude of students towards luxury accommodation options has increasingly turned to anger. In September Trinity’s Pavilion Bar were forced to cancel partnerships between two premium student accommodation providers, Liv and Aparto, following pressure from students.  

Finn Purdy

Finn Purdy is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News. He is a Junior Sophister English Studies student, and a former News Editor and Assistant News Editor.