In a world of heightened awareness of cleaning procedures and increased demand for validation of results, parents are far more concerned with college campus cleanliness than ever before.
That’s according to a study conducted by JLL Higher Education, which found that parents of prospective students now rank cleanliness and indoor air quality as top considerations in college selection decisions.
48 per cent of parents of high schoolers rank campus cleanliness and indoor air quality in the top three most important factors for selecting a college or university selection, behind only the quality of academics and affordability. 84 per cent say campus cleanliness and indoor air quality are 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 per cent of parents never even considering campus air quality prior to COVID-19,” said Ron Gregory, JLL Higher Education executive vice president North America. “As people are more aware of their surroundings that impact their health and safety with greater reason, we can expect that students and staff on campuses will continue to demand transparency and the highest standards around cleanliness and air quality.”
42 per cent of parents said their value of campus cleanliness and indoor air quality increased as a result of COVID-19. 86 per cent rank the look and feel of campus as either important or somewhat important when it comes to college selection, and 88 per cent said the physical condition of buildings was either very important or somewhat important.
“From simple fixes like upgrading lightbulbs to harnessing new technologies across a campus, preventative maintenance is key for schools empowering vibrant campus experiences—before the physical condition of buildings becomes a turn-off to prospective students,” said Kevin Wayer, JLL Public Institutions president. “Savings generated from preventative maintenance can go back into facilities upkeep, creating an overall better, cleaner and more modern experience for students.”
Environmental sustainability has also emerged as a major factor, with 21 per cent of parents saying they became more interested in a school’s commitment to sustainability than they were before the pandemic.