Business & Investment

Dormitory costs have skyrocketed, but what if your university needs campus life?

Living in a dormitory is a rite of passage for millions of first-year college students. But like any other college experience, it costs money. And in many cases it is mandatory.

Moving my only daughter to the scenic Appalachian State University dormitory was a difficult but exciting time for both of us in her freshman year. Room and food expenses were one of our only financial obligations, as she received academic scholarships for tuition and tuition. Well, the only official one — college students have many “needs”.

Like many four-year colleges, AppState requires new students to live on campus. They are the only homes with a guarantee. Students from the first year onwards who are interested in staying in the dormitory enter the lottery system to fight for the rest of the room. By early spring of the freshman year (2019-20), she was informed that she had “acquired” a second grade room.But then COVID-19 (New Coronavirus Infection) Hit, and Like many other college students, she finished her spring 2020 semester at home...

After the summer of 2020, the idea of ​​living in a small dormitory became less and less attractive, so we started looking for an apartment. Although the rental market in the small college town of Boone, North Carolina is highly competitive, she finds that she can get into an apartment at a lower price than the cost of a dormitory.

Dormitories have benefited universities across the country, with dormitory costs skyrocketing 111% at public four-year colleges over the last three decades, much faster than rent. In many markets, first graders can rent a nearby apartment at a lower price than paying on campus, especially if they share the cost with their roommates. However, they are not always given that option.

See also below. Judge’s rule that Indiana University can require students and employees to be vaccinated with COVID-19

Currently, it is not clear how many colleges most freshmen are demanding to live on campus. The Ministry of Education does not collect this data, but reports that 74 schools require all first-time students, regardless of grade, to live on campus without exception. Whatever the exact numbers, many schools do this, and often justify living on campus as a good transition to adulthood.But at the age of 18 (or their parents by proxy) University costs And often take on student loan debt to cover them, isn’t it a better transition to adulthood that allows them to decide how that money is most often used?

Housing is a significant source of college income

As COVID-19 (New Coronavirus Infection) When it became widespread in 2020 and the dormitories were closed, it became clear that universities depended on dormitories as a source of income. In fact, subsidies (including housing, diet, athletics, and other sources of income) have been hit hardest, especially among large institutions, according to data obtained by the Chronicle of Higher Education from 107 schools. It was one of the categories of loss of income. To minimize this loss early, some schools have discussed whether to refund for the rest of the semester when students return home and dormitory rooms are empty, 2020. -Added wording to the 21-year housing contract to protect it from future refunds. This is because higher education institutions make a lot of money in dormitories, although it is difficult to pinpoint the exact numbers.

According to the National Center on Education Statistics, four-year educational institutions earned $ 28 billion in “subsidies” in the 2018-19 academic year, accounting for about 8% of total revenue. This number summarizes housing and food along with parking lots, on-campus stores, and other sources of income. The few New York University 2021 accounting budgets published online reveal that 10% of income comes from dormitories and meals.

clock: American Universities Face $ 130 Billion Crisis

This does not mean that the requirements for living on campus are rooted solely in money. Some of the university’s policy debates are sound. Living in a dormitory is fun, convenient, helpful in grades and retention, and can be a more gradual segue for adulthood. However, this is not suitable for everyone.

You can make on-campus housing an option and, at the discretion of the student (and his parents, arguably), increase the supply of dormitory rooms available to senior students. In other words, the home is more likely to be available to suitable students, regardless of grade.

Most schools that require freshman housing on campus have ways to circumvent these obligations, but what goes through as a proper justification for living off campus, even if it is quite clear. , Often very narrow. For example, at my daughter’s college, some non-traditional students, students living at home within 30 miles of campus, or students taking only online courses while living with their parents. Only are exempt. That last option was added only during the pandemic. Unfortunately, it is not tax exempt. A person who has made a sound and thoughtful decision that it is better to live off campus for financial or other reasons.

On-campus housing costs rise sharper than off-campus

From 1989-90 to 2019-20, average room rates at public four-year colleges rose 111%, taking into account inflation, to $ 6,655 per grade, usually 30 weeks, according to Ministry of Education data. became. By the way, public four-year institutions are some of the most affordable institutions. Compare this to the median total census rent, which increased by only 24% over the same period (census readings, including both contracted rent and utility charges).

With that average room rate, students’ weekly housing costs are $ 222. The median total rent is about $ 253 per week. So is the dormitory cheap? It hangs firmly. So that I don’t think I underestimate my own discussion here, at least once a semester, if not every semester, the cost of getting in and out of the dormitory and the remaining 22 weeks. Don’t forget the cost of finding another home in. The fact that few college students pay the full rent for their apartments and homes this year.

If that median rent was shared with your roommates, you would be looking at $ 127 a week. However, the national median is just an estimate of the stadium.

Is it always cheap off campus?number

New York City Is one of the most expensive and competitive rental markets, so students attending colleges at highly competitive and expensive universities such as New York University and Columbia University are relieved to know that they have options for living on campus. You may sigh. In fact, according to the June 2021 Elliman Report, weekly room rates in Colombian freshman dormitories are hundreds of dollars cheaper than the rent for one person in a two-bedroom apartment for two at Manhattan’s central price. That is. Rental market report. However, the median rent difference, which is the same as some of New York University’s dormitories, is negligible.

According to data, the COVID pandemic slowed rent growth in many urban areas and even caused it to fall. As of May New York City, San Francisco and San Jose still see lower rents than last year.. Students who were free to participate in the local rental market could have fixed a lower rent than they would pay in a dormitory, even in a big city.

These big cities often have extreme home prices, and students in more representative college towns across the country may find more comparable prices when comparing dormitory costs to local rents. ..

See also below. COVID has made admission to top universities in the United States even more competitive.

Appalachian State University is a four-year public university surrounded by mountains in western North Carolina. It’s a gorgeous place and a cozy facility. The mascot is a mountaineer named Joseph wearing a flannel shirt and beard to shout out. And their football is some of the best. Go’Neers! The freshman dormitory, to which my daughter was assigned in 2019-20, was opened to students in 1970 and has no air conditioning. According to census data, weekly rates are about $ 50 higher than a two-bedroom rent for one person. When she was in second grade, she was able to find a shared four-bedroom home. Part of the rent is about $ 140 a week and includes parking and all utilities.

Navigating limited options

Rent an apartment as a college student, whether economical or not, does not always make sense. However, if that makes sense, students should be able to choose that option, or other option that suits their budget, long-term goals, and other personal factors. We allow and encourage 18-year-old students to take on student loan debt. This is usually debt, if not more, for the first decade of your career.On-campus housing requirements add insult To the increasing cost of higher education By not giving students the freedom to decide how to spend their money and how best to spend their first year away from home.

Students who choose a university that requires on-campus housing say very little about this issue.In that case, if staying in the dormitory causes considerable difficulty, it is best advice to look up possible exemptions from the requirements and it is always strategic with you. Use of student loan..

For those who have choices, careful comparison of choices can ensure that they are making the right choices for their budget and long-term educational goals. Be sure to include the following:

  • Direct expenses such as rent, utilities, campus housing, and living expenses when school is closed.

  • Transportation and parking.

  • Convenience and time considerations.

  • Possible social trade-offs, such as being far from a college social club but affordable to choose a roommate.

  • Academic preferences such as how the living environment affects the location and quality of research.

Other Nerd Wallet Items

Elizabeth Lenter is writing for Nerd Wallet. Email: Twitter: @elizabethrenter.

Dormitory costs have skyrocketed, but what if your university needs campus life? Dormitory costs have skyrocketed, but what if your university needs campus life?

Back to top button