By Alec Weisman
Washington, DC – Students at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) now pay less if they live off-campus, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics.
The estimated cost to live on campus has risen by more than $1,000 over the last five years. This more than thirteen percent increase is stark when compared to the cost of living off-campus.
These lucky commuters will pay a mere $300 more than five years ago, a 3.2 percent increase that is below even the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate of 3.6 percent. In the 2011-2012 academic year, UCSD students who live off-campus are expected to pay $800 less than their on-campus peers when considering all non-tuition expenses.
The 2010-2011 academic year was the first time it was cheaper for a student to live off-campus. For the 2011-2012 academic year, room and board on the UCSD campus is expected to cost $11,571 on average, while commuters are expected to pay $9,669 for room and board.
Students at every college in the University of California (UC) system will find it is more expensive to live on campus. Yet as housing on the UC campuses grows more costly, students who live on campus in the California State University system and many California private universities will pay less.
Students living on campus in the UC system paid on average $2,238 more than the surrounding community, whereas students saved on average $842 to live on campus in the CSU system. Several private universities saved students living on campus an average of $645 compared to students who commuted.
At the University of California, San Diego the price of room and board is determined by Housing, Dining and Hospitality Services (HDH), “a self-supporting department of UC San Diego that operates without any state funding.”
The HDH sets the price of on-campus room and board as it manages all on campus housing units, meal plans, and housekeeping services. Yet the inflationary and rent-seeking policies of the HDH have contributed to making on campus housing less affordable.
Students across the country can save money by escaping school bureaucracy and living off campus.
Part Two will cover meal plans and food options.
Alec Weisman is a recent graduate of the University of California, San Diego and is currently working for Newsmax covering foreign affairs in Washington, DC. Weisman was a National Journalism Center intern in Summer 2011 and served as the editor of the California Review, UCSD's conservative on campus newspaper.