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NEWSDAY: Long Island college housing developments to cost at least $321M

Stony Brook Campus with students walking and SBU Seawolves flagLong Island universities and colleges, in a push to stay competitive, plan to spend at least $321 million to build and renovate campus housing to bolster enrollment and ramp up out-of-town recruiting.

New housing for more than 1,500 students is included in the construction, development and renovation in the works at both public and private institutions: New York Institute of Technology, Molloy College, Stony Brook University, Touro Law Center, Farmingdale State College, Hofstra University, Adelphi University and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

Reasons for the expansion are varied, college officials said. Admissions offices are seeking students from farther away, a necessary move as Long Island’s native college-age population is projected to drop during the next decade. The supply of affordable housing is tight and rules about off-campus rentals are strict — the Town of Brookhaven, notably, has cracked down on landlords who illegally rent single-family homes.

National experts point to the impact that on-campus living has on the college experience and academic achievement.

“We and others are acutely aware of the market and, obviously, we are always trying to improve the academic offerings. But we have to make other investments to keep our enrollment stable,” said Leonard Aubrey, NYIT chief financial officer, who is heading the project to build the 49-year-old Old Westbury campus’ first dormitories. “These are important steps to position us for the future.”

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