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Students move home to save

Published: Sunday, February 23, 2014

Updated: Sunday, February 23, 2014 21:02

Some ETSU students are saving money by deciding to live off campus. The rising cost of high education and recent stagnation in salaries may be forcing families to either downsize their children’s on-campus housing options or have them commute to the university.

“Parents are experiencing more and more financial issues,” said Bonnie Burchett, director of the ETSU Department of Housing and Residence Life. “Financial aid is not increasing substantially, but the cost of tuition, meals and housing are all increasing.”

Students wishing to avoid student loans are finding new cost-effective options for higher education.

Housing is one of the highest expenditures, making it worthwhile for students to consider the cheapest option possible.

Approximately 75 percent of the ETSU student body is drawn from the surrounding area.

“A lot of this information is anecdotal, I don’t think we can indicate this with a particular statistic,” Burchett said. “But whenever a student applies for housing, makes a deposit and, then, leaves mid-semester, we ask them to give us a reason. A lot of the reasons have to do with moving home.”

ETSU’s occupancy is lower this semester than it has been in a while.

During the 2013 fall semester, ETSU was at 93 percent occupancy. This semester, on-campus housing is at 88 percent occupancy.

“I think students are having to look at their budgets now,” Burchett said. “I’m hearing a lot of students and their parents saying, ‘We don’t want to borrow money anymore.’ This is factoring into their housing decisions.”

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