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Clemson lands in top 25 for most expensive off-campus rents

A new survey finds that college students can pay up to 80 percent higher than market rates to lease homes or apartments outside of the main school property.

The highest rates within two miles of campus compared with the area’s market-rate rent were for UCLA in Westwood, California. The median monthly rent close to the school was $4,343 compared with $2,409 for the Los Angeles metro market, according to research by HomeUnion, an online residential real estate investment management firm. The company analyzed colleges with enrollment of 15,000 students or higher.

Clemson University was the only college in South Carolina in the top 25. Placing 24th, Clemson posted a $1,288 monthly rent within two miles of campus, 11 percent higher than the $1,158 midpoint rent in the Greenville metro area. The company listed Clemson’s enrollment at 23,000.

UCLA, Stanford University and University of Miami were the three highest rental rates in the nation.

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“As college students return to school this month, we wanted to let them and their families know where off-campus rents would be the most expensive,” says Steve Hovland, director of research for HomeUnion.

“Tuition for both public and private universities continues to increase nationwide, prompting students and their families to consider the cost of living in off-campus housing like single-family rentals,” he says. “To minimize living expenses, students can look at more distant accommodations or consider having roommates in a rental home. This study illustrates where living near campus is disproportionately more expensive than the market as a whole, and off-campus housing may eat into their college savings.”

Reach Jim Parker at 843-937-5542 or

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