In some hostels we have noticed university students, they work and stay at the hostel whilst attending university. They would work around the hostel for 2 hours day and in return their accommodation is paid for. Also most do not like the student accommodation/life, for example drinking, messy accommodation.
In New Zealand some of the hostels are kept very clean, you could even say better then some hotels. In the morning the students would clean the showers and in some cases the rooms. Some hostels have a fantastic atmosphere where you would meet fellow like minded travellers.
Saying that you do get the opposite as well, where some hostels are just awful in this case you just stay the night and move on.
It also helps joining a hostel organisation, we are members of YHA, you get certain benefits the main one being £2/3 off a nights accommodation, does not sound like much but soon adds up!