Many students select which university to attend based on financial reason, specifically when choosing between a public school and private school. But even within the University of California, the range of average living expenses can vary by thousands of dollars a year.
In off-campus housing, UCLA tops the UC system at an average of $10,235 a year, according to CollegeBoard.org.
Meanwhile, UC Davis is the second cheapest at $8,167 dollars a year, behind only UC Merced, with a cost of $7,040 annually.
Janna Buccieri, the chief operating officer at Davisville Management Co. agrees that Davis has very reasonable living expenses.
“Davis has a standard the landlords need to withstand,” she said.
Buccieri runs five different apartments in Davis, including major student complexes such as Aggie Square, Almondwood and Fountain Circle.
She pointed out that even though it is tough for many students to afford housing expenses due to the increase in school tuition, they are making accommodations.
“They can’t believe the units we offer,” she said. “We try to keep it no more than $500 a room.”
While offering low rates, Buccieri believes that many students are still picky in terms of price and quality of apartments.
“Davis students want more from their landlord,” she said.
One example is senior psychology and Chicano studies major Rebecca Albarran, who has a single bedroom in a North Davis duplex, yet pays less than $500 a month.
“I expected the prices I was going to pay here for the expected living,” she said.
The circumstances are different down in the Bay Area. Berkeley has the third highest average pricing a year for off-campus housing.
Former Aggie and current Berkeley senior economics major Kevin Lane said he could not care less about the increase in living expenses at his new school.
Despite living in a rather large room, Lane shares a room with three people and pays $800 a month for rent.
“You’re paying so much already in tuition, it’s not a big difference,” he said.
The cost for on-campus housing differs greatly from off-campus housing. Every school’s on-campus housing is more expensive than the local off-campus prices.
Berkeley charges the most for its on-campus housing, while Davis ranks sixth out of the main nine UC campuses.
Even though the dorms charge higher rates than off-campus, other on-campus housing options can get quite expensive. Most students do not even think about housing prices while deciding between campuses.
UC Irvine sophomore dance major Amanda Moran has learned that the hard way. She lives in an on-campus apartment and despite sharing a room, said she feels her apartment isn’t worth the $540 a month for rent.
“I didn’t really think about [housing prices] while picking college,” she said. “Now I think about it all the time.”
Moran admits that if she knew the prices of housing at other schools she might have reconsidered which college to attend.
The average price of on-campus living across the UCs is $13,200 a year. Even though Davis averages less than that, prices have been going up in recent years. Although pricing is important to students, there are other factors that play into housing decisions.
“It’s both price and location,” Buccieri said. “All of that plays into it.”
Albarran, who lives in a house unaffiliated with Student Housing, found it easier to be in that situation.
“It was convenient to live independently,” she said.
While the UCs vary in both on and off-campus housing prices, one thing stands across the board.
“Everything is expensive,” Lane said. “You just got to deal with it.”
ZANDER WOLD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.