National Survey of College & University Family Housing


The National Survey of College & University Family Housing was conducted from 2013-2015 using a comprehensive online research protocol. The National Center for Student Parent Programs’ Research Team, led by Sarah Galison and overseen by Dr. Autumn Green, worked from state to state to comprehensively review publicly disclosed information on the availability of family housing options at colleges and universities across the United States.

Our research protocol utilized comprehensive lists of every accredited college or university in the United States, including public and private institutions, non-profit and for-profit institutions, two-year, four-year and graduate-only institutions, and all other institutions of higher education listed by the appropriate regional accreditation body as provided by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. However, because we have yet to find a technical or trades program that provides family housing, and reviewing these programs would be costly and time intensive, likely yielding few if any results, at this time institutions listed in this separate category by their accreditation agency have not been reviewed.

Using a specific search and review protocol the research team mined the publicly accessible web-based information for each institution, with consideration of the simple question:

“Is there any student housing option available that would allow a student to live in college or university housing with their children?” For our purposes, only university-run family housing options were included. However, the number of units of family housing available varied by institution: some colleges and universities offered only one or two family housing apartments, while other institutions provided hundreds of units.

In addition to family housing, we included residential single parent programs, such as the Keys to Degrees Program at Endicott College the Single Parent Scholar program at Wilson College, and other similar programs. Unlike family housing, which is generally run by the residence-life office, residential single parent programs generally offer wraparound support services including on-campus housing, childcare, and other support services and are generally coordinated by a trained social worker.

When a college or university was determined to offer family-friendly campus housing options, the research team searched for additional information about other parallel services that might benefit student parents attending the institution such as on-campus childcare, scholarships specific to student parents or single parents, childcare subsidies, and other resources. These are noted in the research database.

However, because of our process, and our initial research questions, which were focused on family housing, institutions that offer other resources and services but do not include family housing were not captured. This larger research is currently underway as part of the project, Student Parents on Campus, and is reflected in our Find Your Way guidebook series.

Related Files

The below dataset is available as a public resource under a Creative Commons  icense. This database may be used for secondary analysis, scientific verification, and other purposes with attribution to the National Center for Student Parent Programs.

NCSPP National Housing Database (February 2016).

Creative Commons License

National Survey of College & University Family Housing by Autumn R. Green and Sarah Galison is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.