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Cal Poly students can save an average of more than $600 per month by living on campus rather than renting an apartment in San Luis Obispo, the best of 48 universities examined in a new report published by the real estate website Trulia.
In the study released Thursday, Trulia looked at college towns around the country to compare what students pay for on-campus housing versus prices for two-bedroom apartments off campus.
Cal Poly students who lived on campus saved $636 per month, Trulia reported.
The median rent for an off-campus two-bedroom apartment in San Luis Obispo would be $1,553 per person, the report said, while the estimated monthly cost for living on campus would be $917.
Felipe Chacon, a housing economist at Trulia who authored the report, said one of the advantages of on-campus housing is that students don’t have to pay rent between semesters.
“While some off-campus housing providers offer academic-year leases, most rental agreements are for a standard 12-month term,” Chacon said in the report. “Given that, we wanted to know how prices for on-campus and off-campus housing stack up against each other if a full year’s worth of rent for off-campus housing were condensed into nine months to make the two comparable.”
The report showed that in 28 of the 48 college towns, it was either the same price or cheaper to live off campus, with an average savings of $219 per month for those with a roommate.
Of the 20 locations where on-campus housing is less expensive than splitting a two-bedroom apartment off campus, the average monthly savings is $221, according to the report.
Other universities where it’s cheaper to live on campus include (with monthly savings):
- Bowling Green, $408
- Northern Arizona, $407
- UC Berkeley, $402
- North Texas, $355
- Rutgers, $313
In picking its college towns, Trulia examined census-defined places with at least 45,000 people in the 2016 five-year U.S. Census’ American Community Survey in which at least 20 percent of the population identified as being enrolled in college or graduate school.
Trulia excluded the cost of meals when possible.
Cal Poly is opening a new student housing community this fall that is expected to house 1,475 freshmen in 696 rooms. The university reported in May 2017 that the project would cost $198 million.
According to Cal Poly’s student housing website, a “quad” room in the new complex will cost $921 per month, and a double room will cost $1,075.75.
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