College tuition isn’t the only higher education cost that’s been skyrocketing in recent years. Record-high rents in many parts of the country have also pushed up the cost of living for college students, whether they’re staying in dorms or trying to find accommodations on their own.
Living off-campus has long been seen as a way to save money on college expenses, but it’s getting a lot harder to find a deal.
A recent report from HomeUnion found that even in areas that already had high rents, rents near a university campus were often significantly higher than rents elsewhere in the city.
Those living near Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, paid the most, facing median rents of $5,705 a month for the privilege of living within two miles of campus. Rents elsewhere in San Jose were lower at $3,499 a month, though that’s still much higher than average in the U.S.
Los Angeles residents living near UCLA paid the biggest premium for proximity. The median rent within two miles of campus was $4,343 a month, which is 80 percent higher than comparable rents elsewhere in the city.
While it’s usually easy to get information on dorm costs, it’s often harder for potential students to get an accurate sense of housing costs off-campus. A recent report from the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, found that nearly half of all colleges were off by 20 percent or more in their living cost estimates, which can amount to thousands of dollars over a school year.