Students Struggle To Find Affordable Housing

By: James Flippin · August 22, 2023 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

High Cost Housing

College costs have been rising in recent years, but that’s not the only financial strain for students.
An ongoing shortage of affordable housing is keeping rents and home prices high across the country, including in college towns.

Picking the Right Market

The cost of housing can vary widely depending on where you go to school.

In cheaper parts of the country, such as the Midwest and Southern US, rent can cost as little as $250 per month. However, pricier counties like Santa Clara, California can cost up to $1,800 per month.

When choosing a school, this is a key factor to consider, particularly if students need to cover the cost of rent out-of-pocket. In some cases, the high cost of rent might even price prospective students out of attending universities to which they’ve been admitted.

Work-Study Balance

In decades past, college students could often make ends meet by picking up a part-time job. But in order to afford rent in America’s most expensive college towns today, students would need to earn an estimated $72,000 — nearly double the median full-time wage for 20-24 year olds.

Some schools are working to secure four-year housing for undergraduates. But some argue it’s not the school’s responsibility to guarantee housing. If the shortage lingers, housing costs could have a direct effect on student success — and remain a major determining factor in every college decision.

Looking for tips on budgeting and paying for college? Check out Ca$h Course — SoFi’s free resource for college students!

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