Student Housing at Harrisburg University


Names of Audience Members

Table of Contents

1 Executive Summary 3

2 Introduction 4

3 Body 4

3.1 History of 4

3.2 Current Status of Student Housing 5

3.3 Reviews 6

3.4 Student Housing at Other Regional Colleges and Universities 7

4 Conclusions and Recommendations 8

5 References 10

1Executive Summary

The purpose of this report is to assess student housing at HarrisburgUniversity. The report focuses on the history, current status andreviews of the institution’s student housing. The study comparesthe findings with those of other regional colleges and universities.The main difference is that other student housing services arecheaper and have meal plans, when compared to Harrisburg University’sstudent housing, which is expensive and lacks meal plans. Althoughstudents are content with the proximity, size and different amenitiesprovided by the university, the report recommends the need to reducestudent housing costs and to introduce meal plans.


Harrisburg University is a non-profit establishment, which wasinstituted in 2001. The institution offers certificate, graduate inaddition to undergraduate programs, in fields related to appliedscience and technology. Harrisburg University was the firstself-governing institution, offering science and technology courses,to be founded in Pennsylvania. It was established with the objectiveof addressing the region’s requirement for a workforce capable ofworking in engineering, science, math and technology careers.

The following report informs about student housing in the university.This includes the history, the current status, reviews of contentmentor discontent about student housing at Harrisburg University. Thereport also provides facts about student housing at differentregional universities and colleges, and offers conclusions andrecommendations about Harrisburg’s student housing.

3Body3.1History of

All registered undergraduate learners at the institution arequalified to apply for the housing services. Specifically, studentswho join the university for the first year are encouraged to applyfor student housing. The university has a number of options in regardto student housing. These are “the Residences on Market, MarketView Place, the Harrisburg International House and the PennsylvaniaPlace” (World Public Library, 2016).

The university began providing student housing during its 2011 to2012 academic years. The first housing services to students werelocated “at the southwest corner of Market and Fourth streets”(Thompson, 2011). They comprised of the Residences on Market and theMarket View Place. The On Market residence is located at 335 MarketStreet, close to the institution’s Academic Center, while theMarket View Place residence is situated at 301 Market Street, almosta block away from the Academic Center. Additional units, comprisingof the Harrisburg International House as well as the PennsylvaniaPlace began to be constructed in 2013.

The university has been working together with Brickbox EnterprisesLimited to make available affordable as well as luxurious studenthousing within downtown Harrisburg (Hermeling, A. (2013). Theuniversity anticipates that in future, it will be able to meet allthe housing needs of its students. As a result, plans are underway,in form of partnerships with a private firm to outsource for morestudent housing facilities at several apartments within the campusarea.

3.2Current Status of Student Housing

The housing facilities comprises of units that are double-occupancy,triple-occupancy or quad-occupancy (Harrisburg University ofScience and Technology, 2015). The dormitories also cater for theneeds of all students as is demonstrated in the table below.

Types of campus&nbsphousing available

Coed dormitory&nbsp(50%)

Apartment for single students (9%)


Special housing for disabled students (5%)

Fraternity housing (8%)

Other options (4%)

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Every unit is fitted with furniture, window blinds, carpeting, Wi-Fiinternet service and basic facilities provided by the university.Students are also provided with cable television hook ups, which arepaid directly to service providers. The housing units also have acommon laundry room and machines that are card-operated, in additionto a television lounge. Students who are driving can park their carsat the Academic Center (Harrisburg University of Science andTechnology, 2015).

The university has been able to provide student housing by workingwith city developers to transform badly maintained as well asunder-used buildings into units that meet school standards (Thompson,2011). The student houses, all units included, are approximated to bebetween 22,000 to 32,000 square feet. Students who opt to live in theschool provided dormitories have to pay for housing charges everysemester. These charges are as shown in the table below:


Charges (per semester)

Standard Double

$ 3,400

Standard Triple

$ 3,100

Standard Quad

$ 2,825

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Reviews regarding the satisfaction or dissatisfaction with thehousing units provided by Harrisburg University indicate that moststudents are satisfied with the services. This is because most of theunits have been built to meet the luxurious needs of students. Inaddition, the students note that the rooms are spacious and locatedclose to the school and capital, which makes student housing a betteralternative to commuting (, 2016).

Some students explain that they are satisfied with the university’sstudent housing because the units are constructed like apartments.This means that the number of individuals sharing the bathroom andkitchen is reduced to two to four individuals, which is comfortablefor learners who do not like using the same bathroom with many people(, 2016). It also makes it easier for students toorganize how to clean their rooms without conflict.

Another interesting review about the hostels is that students inupper classes are satisfied with the fact that they are allowed to bethe first ones to select the rooms they would want to live in. Also,the senior students are allowed to choose their roommates (,2016). As such, it is possible for friends to live together easily,which enhances the family like environment of Harrisburg studenthousing.

On the other hand, students have expressed their dissatisfactionbased on the housing costs and meal plans (, 2016).Harrisburg students living in the school hostels claim that they arevery expensive. Some argue that this could be due to their closeproximity to the school and capital, or due to the fact that theUniversity has partnered with Brickbox Enterprises. All in all, thereis a general feeling that the costs should be reduced.

The other cause of discontent is due to the fact that the studentshave to prepare or buy their own meals, because there are no mealplans for those boarding. Learners feel that this is a challengebecause it enhances the amount of money spent in order to live closeto the school. Some students do not like cooking and hence they arecompelled to buy food, which mainly comprises of junk food, and inthe process they eat unhealthy foods.

3.4Student Housing at Other Regional Colleges and Universities

Other colleges and universities in the same location as HarrisburgUniversity also provide student housing facilities for theirstudents. The facilities are owned by the schools, and mostly builtwithin the school compound. Most of the schools were establisheddecades ago, and hence the institutions had ample time to plan onevery aspect of the schools including accommodation. As a result,they are cheaper, which makes them easily affordable to manystudents.

Other learning institutions have a higher percentage of theirstudents living in student housing rooms. The institutions ensurethat all amenities are readily available for the students, the mostimportant need being food. They have introduced meal plans thatcomprises of a variety of meal choices as an alternative to buying orcooking food.

4Conclusions and Recommendations

Since the establishment of Harrisburg University in 2001, theinstitution began providing student housing during its 2011 to 2012academic year. In the following years, the institutions put moreeffort in ensuring that more hostels were readily available forstudents. This resulted in the establishment of an additional threestudent housing apartments.

The university works together with Brickbox Enterprises to renovateunder used as well as old buildings, which are transformed to meetthe housing needs of the institution’s students. Most students aresatisfied with the housing services provided by the school. Reasonsfor satisfaction include the fact that the apartments are not onlyclose to the school, but capital as well, the rooms are spacious andattractive, the number of people a single bathroom and kitchen islimited to a maximum of four, and the hostels are luxurious.

However, students are concerned that the hostels are expensive andlack meal plans. It is recommended that Harrisburg University shouldwork towards providing housing services to students on its own. Bypartnering with another company, it becomes impossible to offer therooms at affordable prices to students. This is because, while theuniversity realizes the need for the hostels, Brickbox, as a companyis more focused on making money.

Another recommendation is that the university should introduce mealplans. Although the rooms are fitted with kitchens, many studentsrarely have the time or interest to prepare wholesome meals. Hence,they end up buying snacks and junk foods, which promotes unhealthyeating habits. The university should however not just introduce mealplans without consulting students. It is important for theinstitution to conduct research on the types of foods the studentswant offered and at what time, then progress to introduce meal plans.


Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. (2015).Housing options. Retrieved from:

Hermeling, A. (2013). More student bodies: As HU opens its thirdresidence hall, downtown begins to reap the benefits. The Burg.Retrieved from: (2016). Harrisburg University of Science andTechnology: Campus housing reviews. Retrieved from:–and–technology/campus-housing/

Thompson, C. (2011). Harrisburg University to open dormitory.PennLive. Retrieved from:

World Public Library. (2016). Harrisburg University. Retrievedfrom: