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Tuesday, September 26, 2023


UH dorm rates below US average

Living on campus can cost $8,000 less than the most expensive residence halls in the country. Students in UH's more expensive dorms can still save around $1,500 in comparison to other universities. | Kendra Berglund/The Daily Cougar

College consists of many different obstacles, and one that’s high on the list is expense. Students have to worry not only about the cost of tuition, but textbooks, food and of living. 

Nonetheless, housing is an optional cost, but according to a recent article on Forbes, living on campus at UH is actually not expensive compared to other universities.

A recent Forbes article shows that living in a dorm at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, the most expensive required freshman living dorms in the U.S., costs students $13,000 per academic year. Prices on the UH Housing Web site show that a single dorm at the Moody Towers costs $2,451 per semester or $4,902 per year. 

UH like many universities, including West Virginia University and San Diego State University, use for-profit developers like the American Campus Communities that allows for greater affordability and more housing options.

“Cullen Oaks is owned and managed by American Campus Communities. After the ground leases terms are met, these facilities will become university property,” UH Residential Life and Housing Interim Executive Director Javier Hidalgo said. “Bayou Oaks is owned by the University, but managed by American Campus Communities. The rest are owned and operated by the university.”

As for the form of payment for housing, some students are eligible to use their financial aid packages instead of giving their own money up front.

“Each scholarship/financial aid package is different. Some will cover housing expenses; others will not,” Hidalgo said. “Some scholarships even require that the recipient lives on campus. Students should check with the Financial Aid Office to find out if their particular package will cover housing.”

Due to high demand, housing units often run out quickly. Housing is based on first-come, first-serve basis and fills fast when the start of the semester approaches.

“On-campus housing is overall very popular.  There are some complexes that fill faster than others,” Hidalgo said. “For instance, the new Cougar Village facility filled faster than any other this year. One year, Cougar Place fills up first and another year, it may the Quadrangle. 

“Also, how popular living on campus is may vary from year to year due to external factors. For example, high gas prices generally encourage students to live on campus. A slow economy and a glut of cheap apartments on the Houston market may steer students away from living on campus.”

Hidalgo said that living on campus has its advantages for students. Students who chose to live on campus are more likely to focus on their studies, graduate, enjoy their college life, be involved with campus activities, maintain higher GPAs and be more involved as alumni. 

Not every student resident could agree, as there are those who find it difficult.

“Some residents feel that the biggest disadvantage to living on campus is being away from their families,” Hidalgo said. “(Other) students find that this is a big adjustment, not only because they may miss family members but also in terms of self-motivation and decision making. Residents may initially get carried away by the distractions around them, causing their grades to suffer.”

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