The new student apartment meets students’ biggest need
There are two types of students: those who prefer on-campus life, and those who pursue other housing options, such as apartments.
While living in university housing presents its own problems at times, apartment hunters can also face a lot of challenges during their search for a place to live.
Rather than simply applying for housing, choosing a building and deciding on a single or double room, students who are interested in apartments often have to find a place and hope that their credit is good enough to qualify them for an apartment, as well as find people who want to live with them.
The new University Pointe apartment building, which begins leasing in fall of 2012, cuts out some of the most difficult things about finding an adequate living situation. Instead of looking for an affordable place to live and for someone with whom to share it and split the cost, a student can lease an apartment at University Pointe and simply be matched with a roommate.
The idea of an apartment that bills students directly every month as an alternative to a dorm is new to Portland State, although there was time invested in market research beforehand. The demands of the market, as well as the growth of Portland State and its student population, were studied extensively.
The decision-making process of building an apartment only for students started four years ago, with the goal of catering to the needs of students disenchanted with dorm living.
Studies have shown that students who live on campus (or at least within a short walking distance) tend to achieve better grades and, in general, do better than their commuting counterparts. This makes sense, as students are likely to do better when their school is also their home.
Portland State’s student population has risen by at least 20,000 students in total from the university’s starting years. The original estimate of 1,200 students present on campus, whether for class, extracurriculars or meetings, has now risen to anywhere from 2,000 to 21,000 at any given time. The construction of an apartment specifically for students is a step that the university took to accommodate for the growth of its business.
Because it is a well-studied phenomenon among those who run universities that the students with the highest GPAs tend to be those who live on campus, PSU’s goal in constructing a student apartment is to provide students who would rather not live in the dorms with a better option that allows them to stick to campus. Because many students are not fans of dorm life, they may prefer living at University Pointe.
For $639 each per month, two students can share a room and bathroom much like those in the Ondine residence hall, only with access to an entire living area, as well as a kitchen, to be shared with their two neighbors in the room on the other side. The three other types of room style are a bit more costly, following the usual rule of price increasing with the privacy a student receives.
For slightly more per month, one can rent a share of a four-person apartment in which each person has his or her own bedroom with access to two bathrooms, a living room, a kitchen and even a dining room.
The third option costs $899 per month for a single room with a bathroom. The occupant of that room would share a kitchen and living area with the single room adjoining it.
The fourth and final option is a one bedroom and bathroom studio. For $1,199 to $1,234 per month, a student can have a bathroom, kitchen, living area and bedroom all to his or herself.
When compared to the prices of rooms at the Park Place apartment building located next to campus, an apartment at University Pointe seems a bit expensive. However, though one occupant’s share of a one-room two-person apartment at Park Place is approximately $500 per month, the kitchen and living room areas are smaller for this style of apartment at Park Place than it is at University Pointe.
When compared to a double room at the Broadway dorm, University Pointe is only slightly more expensive. The cost for a room with a roommate in Broadway for one term is $1827, which is approximately $609 per month. A student living in Broadway this year could have much more living space for only 30 more dollars every month should they choose to live in University Pointe next year.
What it all comes down to is not merely the cost, but what you are getting for the money. Depending on which dorm you are living in, you could pay around the same amount for a cozier living situation. If you are living in an apartment some distance from campus, you could live in an apartment on campus in your same room style for around the same price.
Living on campus is definitely an advantage for many full-time students. You don’t need to schedule your classes back to back or pay for transportation. The time spent going to class is only a few minutes, leaving you with plenty of time to get dressed and eat breakfast without waking up at five in the morning. You can even live near other on-campus friends.
If the opening of University Pointe in fall helps more students live near campus in a living situation that gives them the best chance to succeed, it is truly beneficial for the university.