Feature Article - June 2020
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Trends in Colleges & Universities

A Look at Trends in Colleges & Universities


A majority of college respondents (96%) said they offer programming of some kind at their facilities, down from 99.3% in 2018. This compares with 97% of non-college respondents who said they provide programming in 2020. Fitness programs continue to be the most commonly offered type of program among college respondents. Some 80.6% of college respondents said they provide fitness programs, down from 91.2% in 2019.

Other programs commonly found among college respondents' facilities include: group exercise programs (78.2% of college respondents feature group exercise); mind-body balance programs like yoga and tai chi (76.6%); educational programs (62.1%); adult sports teams (54.8%); functional fitness programs (55.6%); personal training (51.6%); tournaments and races (50.8%); individual sports activities like running clubs or swim clubs (50.8%); and swimming programs (44.4%).

College respondents were less likely than non-college respondents to report that they had plans to add more programs at their facilities over the next few years. Some 29.8% of college respondents said they were planning to add programs (up from 24.7% in 2019), compared with 35.7% of non-college respondents.

The top 10 planned programs for college respondents include:

  1. Nutrition and diet counseling programs (up from No. 3)
  2. Functional fitness programs (down from No. 1)
  3. Fitness programs (up from No. 6)
  4. Group exercise programs (up from No. 5)
  5. Day camps and summer camps (down from No. 2)
  6. Sport tournaments and races (up from No. 9)
  7. Educational programs (no change)
  8. Individual sports activities like running clubs (did not appear in 2019)
  9. Sport training such as golf or tennis lessons (up from No. 10)
  10. Climbing programs (did not appear in 2019)

New to the list in 2020 are individual sports activities and climbing programs. These programs replace adult sports teams and personal training. RM