Your students are spending money socializing off-campus, and it’s going to keep happening if you don’t act now. Campuses are full of potential places for students to gather, but schools aren’t taking advantage of them, fostering empty cafeterias and libraries. Innovative schools are retaining student dollars by turning campus businesses into opportunities to network and learn together.
At my school, off-campus coffee shops were the place to hang out. The drab cafeteria and library didn’t encourage socializing, they were last resorts.
Modern schools are investing in spaces that bring people together. They offer study rooms with large displays for collaboration, so students aren’t huddled around a laptop off-campus. Social spaces like cafes integrated into libraries encourage students to spend more time and money on campus. Students studying in a library with a cafe are far more likely to buy a drink there than somewhere off-campus. You need to capitalize on convenience.
Cafeterias have similar problems. Students will not spend their money in a place that is dated and boring. Address these issues by creating a social space with commercial televisions and ultra-wide menu displays. You can provide entertainment, make your cafeteria look better and make lines more efficient with one key update.
Today’s students expect an advanced, resourceful campus. They want spaces full of updated technology that facilitates learning, and signs that show where food and entertainment is. They want to socialize somewhere that doesn’t feel like a dingy school building. It all boils down to effective usage and promotion of your social spaces.
Schools that lack today’s technology become a generic building demanding tuition.