Sunday, February 12, 2006

Future enrollment

One of the topics of speculation at the BOE has been what our student enrollment might look like in a few years. State projections imply that EO's student population will shrink significantly.

In a related story, the Hartford Advocate (click link) featured a story by Nathan Conz entitled, Student HousING. In it he describes the buying habit of the ING Real Estate Community Living Fund that is buying up student apartment complexes around UConn campuses.

When all is said and done, ING will own 90 percent of the off-campus housing options within a seven-mile radius of UConn. The complexes will be managed by New England Realty, which currently manages several of the properties. They did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Two notable UConn complexes not purchased were Celeron Square and Carriage House, known for their Spring Weekend parties.

¨The portfolio provides a low-risk investment underpinned by captive demand and limited supply,¨ ING Real Estate Investment Management Australia CEO Hugh Thomson said in a statement.

And it´s that sentiment that concerns some UConn students who live in off-campus housing. What´s stopping ING from raising the rent?


If off-campus rents increase in the area then so will the cost of housing in general.

What all this means to the quality of EO Smith is purely speculative but every indication is that EO will have fewer students possibly from a higher income community.

A by-product of this information is that local communities should probably relax about the potential of over-development. CT's population seems to be shrinking thanks to a vanishing job market and the high cost of living.

This crunch may endanger more than a few programs.

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