When looking at these establishments, most university housing properties would be found to consist of a small room, most smaller than a 11′ X 12′, that is constructed of cinder block with linoleum flooring. With simple lighting installed, this small room is being rented at a rate that would triple the cost in one semester that an apartment with utilities would run for an entire year. Not only this, but most units do not include a kitchen or bathroom, but instead, a communal area’s of these sorts are provided for renting students.
Why is this happening? Universities know that if they require freshman students to live on campus their first year, they will be scared into signing housing contracts in subsequent years to come. With the housing market in the pits, students become afraid that they will not be able to secure other housing, so before they have a chance to look, university residential life organizations shove housing contracts in their faces. Most of this is done by mid-March, which is generally before most apartment complexes know if they will have rentals available. Thus students are forced into contracts to ensure they have housing for the year to come, even if they are being overcharged.
How is it fair for universities to charge this amount for housing? With all that is being done to help make college more affordable, should someone not be looking at the fact that universities all over the nation are emptying our pockets by charging us for minimal housing conditions?