In our work with college and university officials we often hear two topics that are a great concern. Officials are concerned about bad press regarding student crime and campus safety. They also worry about media coverage regarding the growing cost of college.
The ACUHOI community forum offers a robust place for housing professionals to discuss topics. Today a discussion occured regarding institutional policies for summer programs. Schools, particularly in popular urban locations, such as Washington D.C., Chicago and many others have strong and growing conference programs.
Two Thousand and sixteen has wasted no time in generating the first “Hot Button” issue for our higher education colleagues in on-campus housing and risk management:
It was great to see ACUHOI discussion regarding the value of renters insurance in their message boards / forums. These are really useful discussions and it is great to see the variety of topics impacting leaders in student housing.
The College Board indicates that more than 1,237 institutions now guarantee student housing for all freshmen with many institutions requiring students to live on campus. This requirement has many benefits but it has also created new forms of risk for students and their families.
We are often asked by friends and family preparing to send their kids to college about student renters insurance. This is not surprising since many news stories and insurance agents offer differing views at this time of year. Some professionals have gone on record against the need for student renters insurance stating that homeowners policies extend protection to students when they are away at college. Others advise families to purchase specific coverage or "floaters" on select personal items (laptops, smart phones, etc.) and continue to rely on the home policy for broader coverage. Our approach is not to refute this guidance but to help make families aware of the practical value of a student renters policy and why homeowners insurance is not always the best solution.
Requiring students to live on campus has many benefits, but it also creates an often unforeseen risk for students and their families. In fact, published research supports this requirement and data from the College Board indicates that more than 1,237 institutions now guarantee student housing for all freshmen.
In July 2014, The Arizona Republic published an article that described a local university as a "Mall for Theives". Considering recent studies, this seems to be true at many campuses across the country. For example, "the average college student has a 53% chance of having their bike stolen, and only 2.4% are ever recovered". Has your institution considered how the financial loss of a bike or a backpack impacts a student? For some students, a financial loss can cause a great setback, even preventing the student's college success.