Living in residence halls expensive for students

Tyler Hargett

Most students know college is expensive. With tuition, books and other expenses, there is not always a lot of extra cash left after payments are due.

However, one of the most expensive costs students worry about is living in a residence hall or apartment.

Prices vary on upon location, and certain students must live in specific halls based off their classifications. If students are freshmen, they must stay in either Mattielou, Olive or Rivers Hall. A double occupancy in Mattielou or Olive is $3,000, while a single is $3,800, both per semester, according to UNA’s website.

While these students have chosen to come straight to UNA instead of attending college somewhere else first, this does not mean all of them received scholarships of large amount. If the university wants people to come to it first, perhaps its residence prices should be more competitive.

As for the five upperclassmen halls (excluding Lafayette, which is for UNA Honors members), four of them range from $2,900 for a double occupancy to $5,000 for a double as a single. Rivers Hall, however, keeps its prices lower, only going as high as $2,750.

In the case of apartments around campus, students do not have to worry about their academic year, but this does not mean the price is always better.

Among the university’s three apartment complexes, one of the lower-priced areas is Single Level’s single bed space at $1,785. Meanwhile, the highest-priced complex is an entire unit with 1,100 square feet at Single Level, which runs at $4,000.

I do not live on campus because of these prices. Instead, I commute from home every day, which takes about 45 minutes and results in me having to fill up my gas tank every week or so. However, this only adds up to between $400 to $500 per semester, which means it is still much cheaper for me to live at home than at UNA.

While it will probably never be more affordable to live on campus than at home, I believe it can be better. After students graduate, they will pay a monthly rate for a home or apartment, and one could argue their time at college helps them prepare for this. However, the cheapest living option is still well over $1,000. One could almost pay for two whole classes for that price.

Beginning in the spring 2018 semester, if students earn institutional scholarships with an amount exceeding their tuition cost, they will not receive any refunded cash. This will make it even harder for resident students, as some use their refund checks to pay bills.

For future and current students concerned about this issue, they should contact Student Government Association to discuss ways they can raise awareness to the university.

Students already deal with high tuition, book and food costs. Expensive living on campus is another high price students do not need.