High Rents Impacting College Students

By Kelly Leighton | Aug. 10, 2021 | 2 min. read

As college students begin packing up their belongings to return to their universities for the fall semester, more than one-third are reporting that they cannot afford rent prices in their college town.

Thirty-five percent of college students in a recent Realtor.com® survey said they cannot afford rent, with 19% reporting their parents are pitching in to help afford housing costs, despite not needing them to in the past. Forty-four percent of respondents said the real estate market is what is driving up their rent costs. In June, the median rent cost skyrocketed to $1,575, an increase of 8.1% year to year.

However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, some students are unsure if their colleges will even hold traditional in-person classes for the year. Nearly one-third of respondents said they waited to confirm housing plans for this fall, and 22% reported they waited too long and now have to change their housing plans. After a school year filled with unusual circumstances because of safety protocols due to the pandemic, it’s no surprise that most students are ready to get back to school. Half of students who lives at home plan to move out for the fall semester.

Yet, those looking for housing are finding it not nearly as easy as it had been in the past .Close to 40% of those planning to live off-campus said they looked at at least six listings in person and 30% said finding an apartment this year was much harder than last year, with about 25% reporting that apartments were being rented very quickly due to lack of availability. More than half of students said they have adjusted their living situation to save money, with 21% moving in with their family to save money, 13% living with more roommates and 10% living with less amenities to save money.

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