Even so, the San Antonio area's 60,000 college students can be thankful they're paying far less than counterparts attending schools in other metros, according to a recent report.
An analysis by online home-service company Porch ranked the San Antonio-New Braunfels area as the No. 12 most-affordable large metro for college students looking to rent an apartment.
To create the rankings, researchers calculated the weighted average of off-campus room and board — excluding for those living with family — for the 2020-2021 academic year. Those metros with the lowest average ranked highest.
With an average total rent of $9,935 for the 2020-2021 academic year, students in the Alamo City are paying 2.1% below the national average for their off-campus cribs, according to the report.
Although San Antonio-New Braunfels ranked among the most affordable spots for students seeking housing, that doesn’t necessarily mean finding accommodations is accessible to all. First-generation and low-income students face significant hurdles, according to the study's authors.
“Price pressures from rent are especially challenging for college students, especially first-generation college students and students from low-income families,” Lauren Thomas, a Porch content creator and marketer, said in a written statement. “Students often lack the rental history or savings for deposits that help them get approved for a rental.”
Around 43% of the University of San Antonio's 2020 first-year students were first-generation, according to the city's largest four-year institution. Additionally, more than 11,000 of its nearly 30,000 undergrads are considered low-income and receive federal Pell grants.
Even so, UTSA is also one of several public universities in Texas to offer free tuition for eight semesters to low-income Texas residents who graduated in the top 25% of their class.
But with the average rent in the Alamo City topping $1,220 a month in July 2022 and inflation near 40-year-highs, low-income students in San Antonio and beyond are disproportionately overburdened by the quick-rising cost of living.
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