UIUC has lowest rents among U.S. universities
Study by national apartment-search website also finds Chicago colleges a bargain
By Ted Cox
The state’s flagship public university has the lowest rents in the nation among major college campuses, according to a new study released this week by a national apartment-search website.
RENTCafe released a study Wednesday finding that the average rent within a mile of the University of Illinois campus at Urbana-Champaign was $890, “the lowest rent price in proximity to a top U.S. university.” That was also a bargain locally, $506 lower than the average Champaign rent of $1,396.
Chicago universities placed two more in the top 10, with Loyola coming in fourth at $1,110 and the Illinois Institute of Technology seventh at $1,185. Apartments within a mile of both campuses placed well below the average Chicago rent of $1,898.
Basically, the study took the top 100 universities as ranked by U.S. News & World Report and plotted them against the search service’s average for rents in the area.
Among the top 10 U.S. universities in the latest U.S. News rankings (actually 11 as Northwestern tied with Johns Hopkins for 10th), the University of Chicago ran a close second to Duke in lowest rent within a mile of campus, $1,249 to the North Carolina university’s $1,240. Rent at Duke was actually higher than the average in Durham, while U. of C., like Loyola and IIT, ran well below the city average.
The U. of C., which placed in a four-way tied for third in the U.S. News rankings, had the lowest rent among the top six. By comparison, top-rated Princeton had an average rent of $2,409 in New Jersey, and second-place Harvard had an average rent of $2,780 in Cambridge, Mass., outside Boston.
Northwestern was a comparative bargain with an average rent of $2,229 within a mile of campus, but not by Evanston standards, as rents in the Chicago suburb run an average of $1,933.
Loyola, IIT, U. of C., and UIUC all placed in the top 10 in campuses with rents most below their city average. They ran consecutively third through sixth, with Loyola $788 below the Chicago average, IIT $713 below, U. of C. $649 below, and UIUC the aforementioned $506 below the average in Champaign.
Yeshiva University in New York City offered the biggest savings locally, with rents there running at $2,225, almost $2,000 below the Manhattan average of $4,132. Boston College had the second-largest discrepancy, with rents there at $2,137, almost $1,000 below the average of $3,103 in the Chestnut Hill area.