Trulia Study: Many Colleges Miscalculate Off-Campus Housing Costs

The University of California in Los Angeles, Berkeley and Santa
Barbara Underestimated Off-campus Housing Costs By Up to 53 Percent,
While University of Texas, University of Florida, University of
Washington and University of Pennsylvania Overestimated Costs.

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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.

Nasty or Welcome Surprises: The True Cost of Off-Campus Housing
School   College Town  

How Much Schools Estimate Off-

Campus Housing Costs vs. Reality (%)

University of Texas, Austin

Austin,
TX

59%
University of Florida

Gainesville,
FL

46%
University of Washington

Seattle,
WA

33%
University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia,
PA

22%
University of California, Los Angeles

Los
Angeles, CA

-33%
University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley,
CA

-42%
University of California, Santa Barbara

Santa
Barbara, CA

-53%
 

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.

Cheaper to Live Off-Campus
School   College Town  

Advertised Cost

of On-Campus

Housing (As

reported by each

school)

 

Estimated Cost of

Renting 2-Bedroom

Apartment Off Campus

with a roommate for 9

months (Trulia)

 

Percentage

Cheaper to

Live Off-

Campus

Purdue University

West
Lafayette, IN

$10,030* $3,071 69%
University of Chicago

Chicago,
IL

$14,772* $5,085 66%
University of New Mexico

Albuquerque,
NM

$8,690* $3,825 56%
Brigham Young University

Provo,
UT

$7,330* $3,488 52%
Loyola University

Chicago,
IL

$10,330* $6,525 37%

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Las
Vegas, NV

$6,420 $4,028 37%
University of Texas, Austin

Austin,
TX

$11,456* $7,200 37%
Boston College

Chestnut
Hill, MA

$13,496* $9,225 32%
University of Florida

Gainsville,
FL

$5,420 $3,713 31%
DePaul University

Chicago,
IL

$14,772* $10,575 28%
University of Washington

Seattle,
WA

$11,310* $8,528 25%
University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia,
PA

$9,060 $7,425 18%
University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley,
CA

$14,388* $12,375 14%
Emory University

Atlanta,
GA

$7,720 $6,750 13%
University of California, Santa Barbara

Santa
Barbara, CA

$14,192* $13,478 5%
*Housing cost estimate includes room and board
 

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.

Cheaper to Live On-Campus
School   College Town  

Advertised Cost

of On-Campus

Housing

 

Estimated Cost

of Renting 2-

Bedroom

Apartment Off

Campus with a

roommate for 9

months

(Trulia)

 

Percentage

Cheaper to

Live On-

Campus

Stanford University

Palo
Alto, CA

$8,301** $16,650 50%
Columbia University

New
York, NY

$8,572** $17,098 50%
Boston University

Boston,
MA

$9,570 $13,478 29%
The George Washington University

Washington,
DC

$12,050* $14,175 15%
University of California, Los Angeles

Los
Angeles, CA

$14,904* $15,300 3%
*Housing cost include room and board

**Housing costs listed as range; average used in study

 

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