Student health and safety are priority for parents
Campus cleanliness and indoor air quality are now top factors that families consider when making college selection decisions, right behind academics and affordability, according to a new survey.
JLL Higher Education, a commercial real estate and professional services firm, recently asked 500 parents of high school-aged students on their changing opinions regarding college selection since the pandemic.
The survey indicates that factors attributing to student health and safety are top of mind for parents. Forty-eight percent of parents with high schoolers rank campus cleanliness and indoor air quality in the top three most important factors when asked their opinion on their child’s impending college or university selection, and a total of 84% of parents rank campus cleanliness and indoor air quality as either important or somewhat important.
Proper indoor ventilation and air circulation occupied the spotlight across most industries in the height of the pandemic, with 59% of parents never even considering campus air quality prior to COVID-19.
Forty-two percent of parents noted that their sentiment toward campus cleanliness and indoor air quality increased as a result of COVID-19. While transparency around campus cleanliness and air quality remains top of mind, the way prospective students and their families perceive the health and safety of campus based upon appearance could also play a pivotal role in the decision process.
Eighty-six percent of parents rank the look and feel of campus as either important or somewhat important when it comes to college selection. And 88% of parents said the physical condition of buildings was either very important or somewhat important.
Environmental sustainability has also emerged as a major factor in student recruitment and to nearly every major university stakeholder, from students and faculty to parents and alumni. The survey found that 21% of parents became more interested in a school’s commitment to sustainability than they were before the pandemic, demonstrating the importance of a continued focus on sustainability when updating and developing new campus buildings.