Living thrifty on a student budget is practically a necessity, but proves particularly difficult for students facing astronomical rental costs. According to a recent Zillow analysis, 80 percent of the top 35 universities in the U.S. are located in expensive rental markets.
Most students rent outside of the dorms, sorority or fraternity homes for at least part of their college careers. In addition to tuition costs, undergraduates shopping for loans should consider their forthcoming housing costs over the next four years – particularly for young scholars in the Golden State.
The most expensive schools to rent near
The no. 1 priciest college rental market is Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. Stanford students pay nearly five times more than the national median in rent, with the mid-range value reaching $3,950 per month. Expensive off-campus housing is an unfortunate reality of living in the Bay Area and graduating from the fifth best institution in the U.S.
While Princeton is the highest-ranked university in the country, students face the second most expensive off-campus housing. The median price of renting in Princeton is $4,500 per month. At no. 3 most expensive, students at University of California-Berkeley face a slightly softer $3,200 per month in the East Bay locale.
The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena is the fourth most expensive student housing market. Caltech undergrads should anticipate a median rental cost of $2,720 per month. Rounding out the top five, off-campus rental housing in Los Angeles for students at the University of Southern California costs about $2,700 per month.
The least expensive schools to rent near
Recent high school graduates looking to attend a top school without the heavy rent burden may have better luck in the Northeast and Midwest.
University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN is the 15th best institution in the U.S., but offers the cheapest off-campus housing options at $723 per month. Similarly, Washington University is ranked 19th in academics, while the price of rent in St. Louis comes at an affordable $881 per month.
Off-campus housing near the University of Rochester in upstate New York, rated the no. 32 best school in the nation, is far less than the Big Apple. Students renting in Rochester pay a median rent of just $945 per month. At Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, upperclassmen should plan to pay $994 per month in rent when living outside of the dorms.
Finally, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh offers a median rent of $1,141 per month, making it the fifth cheapest school for off-campus housing.