Fresh Eyes Consulting

Other consulting services focus on preferences for unit types, rental rate sensitivity, and comparison with off campus offerings. Fresh Eyes focuses on organic growth — how full time enrollment both historical and projected, can help direct the future of a housing program. We also examine various services (dining, financial aid, etc.) that support a housing program and how they can be positioned to maximize success.

Fresh Eyes can be completed in 3 consecutive days on a campus. The solutions are practical, workable ones, many of which can be implemented soon after the consulting assignment is completed. We focus on how to best position student housing to capture as many first-time students as possible to live on-campus and then retain them.

Three Foundational Beliefs That Drive Fresh Eyes Consulting:

Well-positioned housing programs improve recruitment and retention.

All student services must be appropriately positioned to support campus housing.

Projecting demand for a campus housing program doesn’t have to be complicated – that’s why we invented the Student Housing Calculator.

What to Expect

Fresh Eyes is accomplished in three consecutive days of work on the campus, with a presentation to designated stakeholders on the third day. It involves one-hour interviews with administrators (from the president down), student focus groups, facility tours and an analysis of current and future supply and demand using The Student Housing Calculator. Findings and recommendations are presented on the third day, with a focus on how to best position the housing program (including any proposed new housing) to enhance recruitment and retention.

The typical outcomes:

A deeper understanding among all campus stakeholders of their part in leveraging housing to enhance recruitment and retention

Reliable projections for future housing demand

Recommendations for size & unit types

Rates for new housing projects

Strategies for staging housing renovation projects

Strategies for developing new sources of housing revenue from conference and intern programs

What are the questions Fresh Eyes can help you answer?

  • Does your campus have an effective occupancy management plan?
  • Are other campus services positioned to support student housing and on- campus residents?
  • Should you add additional beds to campus?
  • Should you renovate, or build new housing?
  • Are you telling a good story about living on campus?
  • Do your policies and procedures encourage students to remain on campus?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • If desired, we can review the information with the point person(s) named in the contract prior to the presentation to the larger audience.

  • This depends on our team members’ schedules, but we are often able to visit a campus within a few weeks of official engagement.

  • On many campuses, Fresh Eyes addresses the questions involved with a proposed new housing facility: how many beds should we build, what students should we target, what unit types should be programmed and what rents should we charge?

    • One campus wanted to demolish and replace an existing residence hall that was old and in poor condition, but was struggling with how these beds could be taken off-line and still meet the current demand. The Fresh Eyes team, after analysis of the existing housing design capacity and demand using The Student Housing Calculator, showed the campus there were enough beds in place to meet demand if the old hall was demolished immediately. The campus was able to re-allocate students and ultimately remove and replace this hall.
    • Another campus lacked spaces within their residence halls for residence life programs. The Fresh Eyes team made recommendations for several existing spaces, including the existing dining hall, where with some minor changes, would be good spaces for improving the residence life program.
    • At other campuses, we have made practical short and long-term recommendations for issues related to positioning student services which support student housing – financial aid, dining, parking, and so forth.
    • Other assignments have focused on issues relating to overall rental rate setting, estimating appropriate operating expenses, website messaging and communication, maintenance and custodial issues, and the re-structuring of dining plans.
    • A growing issue has been making recommendations for additional sources of housing revenue through conference and intern programs.
  • Not in the traditional sense. Rather than rely on a survey that asks students hypothetical questions, COCM considers demand to be a function of the size of an institution’s freshman class, the campus’ historic yields of students to choose on-campus living, and retention of those students. Our model, driven by our Student Housing Calculator ( will show how you can organically grow demand over time and provide a 10-year demand prediction based on institutional data.

  • Fees for Fresh Eyes depend on program size and the scope of the project. COCM works with institutions to make the process as affordable as possible. The Fresh Eyes review typically costs considerably less than other student housing consulting services. Please call us and we can talk through your needs and design a program and price that suits you.

  • The university makes this decision.

  • The Fresh Eyes analysis and recommendations are presented in a PowerPoint format on the third day of the campus work. An electronic copy is provided afterwards to the university. Additional consulting beyond the three-day process can also be arranged, if desired.

  • To make the process as efficient as possible, we hold all interviews in one room on the campus. The exception is the interview with the president, which is conducted in his or her office.

  • COCM will not take on a Fresh Eyes assignment without the involvement of key stakeholders on the campus, including the president. The stakeholders typically involved include the following:

    • President
    • Provost and Academic Deans
    • VP for Business and Finance
    • Dean / Director of Student Affairs
    • Director of Housing / Residence Life Staff
    • Director of Admissions
    • Director of Financial Aid
    • Director of Enrollment Management
    • Director of Dining Services
    • Director of Public Safety
    • Director of Facilities Planning and Management
    • Student Focus Groups
  • You can schedule a Fresh Eyes assignment by contacting Gray Bekurs at The first step is to schedule a phone call with COCM to learn more about the campus and the desired scope of the assignment. We will then gather the housing and enrollment data from you, as well as schedule the dates for the campus work.

  • Fresh Eyes is not about critiquing people or positions. The process is focused on analysis and recommendations to help position a housing program (including any proposed new housing) to grow the institution. But in the process, many campus stakeholders gain a fresh perspective (and enthusiasm) regarding their role in making campus housing successful.