It’s that time of the year again for the annual pilgrimage back to school. Stores have posted signs for great deals and the students show no signs of happiness. The students attending the institutions of higher learning generally head back toward the end of August with public and private school children returning anywhere from now to the end of August.
I’ve noticed that in recent years the trek back to college is a little more involved than I originally thought.
As a mystery shopper, I can site some examples of the process. I see an increasing number of students that are returning to campus to earn their degrees while living in off-campus housing. When engaging in apartment mystery shopping I have observed students residing in a variety of housing arrangements including luxury high-rise apartments. In “ancient times” living in other than campus housing meant a small apartment nearby shared with a friend or two. Interestingly that has all changed. Many apartment management companies I come in contact with tell me that although they cannot discuss demographic information due to Fair Housing Laws, they are leasing to students with certain restrictions. During a recent mystery shopping experience, I had the opportunity to ask a recent graduate if there was a shortage of college housing/dorms. She told me the dorms had strict rules and they want the freedom to come and go as they want. If a two-bedroom apartment rents for $2000 a month and it’s split four ways, it’s a done deal and affordable.
While mystery shopping at self-storage facilities, I noticed that college students are very busy just before school starts with cleaning out their storage spaces to move their possessions into the apartments rented for the next term. These facilities get busy very quickly as students begin using hand trucks and anything else they can get in order to move items of various sizes and furniture. Once this is completed, storage facilities will once again have room for everyone else. And, of course, just the opposite happens at the end of school year. The stuff goes back in and they go home.