The University of North Georgia's Student Newspaper




This is the Cost of Living

The Standard billboard advertising to students to live there – Photo by Eli Hogan

One of the most stressful parts of college is figuring out where you’re going to live, if you’ll have a job, and how you’ll pay rent.

Some people elect to stay in their family homes if the college is close enough. It’s a great way to save money for after one graduates and looks for housing elsewhere. Most people though, end up moving out of their city at least an hour or so away for college.

The real estate market is notorious for always keeping with inflation, especially after the 2008 housing crisis, and now the potential new housing crisis. Generation Zers and millennials have made it very clear in recent months that it is getting increasingly hard to find affordable housing anywhere in the United States.

Jana Wrenn, a UGA sophomore, spoke on her experiences with student housing rates increasing in recent months. “It’s exploitative, students have to live somewhere,” she said. “Based off knowledge from when I worked at The Lodge [of Athens], rates are artificially inflated just because competing apartments raised theirs and we wanted to match even though we operated on a tiered renting system.”

The main entrance to The Standard. – Photo by Eli Hogan

According to, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Athens is around $1,550 which has increased by 19% in the last year. Some of the more recent and popular student apartments such as The Standard, The Mark Athens, and 100 Prince rents range from as low as $1,000 up to $2,100. Other apartments in the near vicinity sometimes go for even more.

Utilities are not included all the time either, which can add another $60-$100 a month. Grahame Smith takes four classes, works part-time at Chick-fil-A and lives at The Standard. “Working a part-time job isn’t really covering the rent, it’s a lot. Thankfully, my parents help pay part of the rent.” Grahame thinks that recent rate increases are due to the general economic downturn that’s been happening recently.

“Student housing has increased yeah, but regular housing has increased everywhere too. The [real estate] market is kind of trash right now.”- Grahame Smith

Affordable housing is becoming more of a wide spread issue not just across America but worldwide too. It seems college towns suffer more due to the ever-increasing number of students coming in to study, both domestic and international. New complexes are constructed each year with higher prices than the last.

On campus housing has become extremely expensive too since they don’t include it in tuition. Students are struggling more and more each year to afford living on their own. Hopefully there will be a dip in rates in the coming years and offer a glimpse of hope for cheaper housing.

The Fred Building’s old sign showing that they are leasing, withering away from being up for years on end. – Photo by Eli Hogan
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About the Contributor
Eli Hogan, Staff Writer
Junior majoring in mass communications with a focus on photojournalism. I've been doing photography for around 3-4 years now, traveled around the world, and most recently worked at Glacier National Park in Montana for around 3 months.
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This is the Cost of Living