SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Trulia, a leading destination for homebuyers and renters, today revealed the true cost of campus housing at 20 private and public universities across the country. In this study, Trulia compared each school’s estimated off-campus housing cost, as listed on their website, with the median rent for the ZIP codes around each school’s campus. It also calculated whether it is cheaper to live on campus in a student dormitory or off campus in a two-bedroom apartment with a roommate for nine months. To check out the full report and methodology, see here.
Students Need To Do Their Own Homework On Housing Costs
Many schools often underestimate the cost of off-campus housing, sometimes by thousands of dollars for the school term. The University of Texas in Austin estimates the cost of off-campus housing to be 59% more expensive than the actual rent for living off campus in a 2-bedroom apartment with a roommate for nine months. Meanwhile, the University of California in Santa Barbara estimates the cost of off-campus housing to be 53% cheaper.
Apartment Living Often Cheaper
Even though many colleges miss the mark on assessing off-campus housing costs, renting off campus is often cheaper than living on campus. In 15 of the 20 schools examined, on-campus housing was more expensive than if a student shared a two-bedroom apartment off campus with a roommate for nine months. At the University of Chicago, room and board runs $14,772 while an off-campus apartment can cost $5,085.
In Pricey College Towns, On-Campus Living Is A Deal
In some of the highest-priced rental markets, living on campus is often cheaper. A Columbia student would pay more than $17,000 for nine months in a shared two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Meanwhile, on-campus housing ranges from $7,418 to $9,470. The savings also adds up at Stanford, which is in the heart of Silicon Valley, where living on campus would run less than $9,000, versus $16,000 off campus.