Proximity to campus is the strongest determining factor for where college students decide to live during their time at school, leading to worries about rent costs. On a new ranking of the most affordable areas near top universities, Illinois had three of the top 10 spots, including number one.
Digging into Yardi Matrix rent data, cross-referenced with the top 100 universities in the U.S. as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, RentCafe determined the universities with the most affordable rent prices within one mile of their main campus.
At the top of the list was the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, with the lowest rent prices one can find near to a top U.S. university. The average rent in apartment buildings located within a one-mile radius around U of I is $890. Renting closer to campus is actually an attractive option, as apartments are $506 cheaper than the city average.
Coming in fourth, living near Loyola University Chicago provides one of the most picturesque universities in the Midwest for 40 percent less than the city average. The $1,110 average rent within one mile of the university’s main Lake Shore Drive campus has a lot to do with the location. The university is further away from downtown Chicago, in the more affordable neighborhood of Rogers Park where, compared to the city average, it costs $788 less to rent.
On the South Side and coming in at the seventh spot, the area around Illinois Institute of Technology is easy on the pocketbook with lots of extras. The average rent within one mile of the IIT main campus is $1,185, which equates to $713 below the average city rent. It comes with the added bonuses of having a straight shot to beautiful lakefront parks and being close to the lively Chinatown.
Though not making the top ten, The University of Chicago still has reasonable rent prices, especially considering the storied university tied for third-best in the country by U.S. News & World Report. With an average rent of $1,249 in the Hyde Park area, $649 cheaper than the city average, UChicago is one of the most cost-efficient options for students looking for off-campus accommodation among the nation’s most elite universities.
The same is not true near the Chicago area’s other highly selective school, Northwestern University. Living within a one-mile radius of the Evanston campus means paying $300 more on housing expenses than the city average. Renting a place close to the tenth-ranked university costs $2,229 on average, but those willing to live within a two-mile radius could save up to $220 per month.