Jaina Ponkey, a 22-year-old living in Marina, pulls herself out of bed each day at about 6 a.m. She’ll return home at about 11 most nights.
That’s when she starts her homework.
Ponkey is a transfer student at CSU Monterey Bay. She worked at least 30 hours a week to pay for housing as well as other expenses while taking 14 units during the fall semester to remain on track to complete her transfer degree in the Integrated Teacher Education Program.
She lives in East Campus at CSUMB in a single bedroom, along with two housemates. Ponkey pays $759 per month for her room, meaning she must work almost full time and take out loans to be able to afford it.
Like Ponkey, many students are having difficulty in making ends meet at CSUMB because of the high cost of housing. And when students are focused on working almost full time to pay the bills, they have less time and energy to succeed with school work as documented by academic surveys.
Off-campus housing also expensive
In August 2014, about 200 incoming students were without a home on campus and put on a waitlist that was already at capacity, according to a story in The Herald at the time.
This meant students who were unable to gain housing through CSUMB had to live in the surrounding areas.
To compare costs, housing surrounding CSUMB is about as unaffordable. Marina’s median rent cost for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,198 a month, Salinas’ median rent cost is $1,177 a month and Seaside’s median rent cost is $1,482 a month according to AreaVibes Incorporated, a website that uses data and an algorithm to rank places to live.
Affordable housing is a national issue according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is uniquely amplified in the national university system, where the student population is growing.
At CSUMB, the student population has increased by about 5% in the past five years. Yet, no additional affordable housing has been built on or around campus in that period.
The National Center for College Statistics shows that it generally costs $23,564 per student to complete their undergraduate education in four years, including books and other important expenses. When the costs of school and housing are so high, it is clear why many drop out of school or take more time to finish their degrees. California State University tuition has grown by about 900% in the past four decades, adjusted for inflation — and that doesn’t include additional fees imposed by individual campuses according to a report last month by CALmatters, a nonprofit reporting organization.
For the full article click here: https://www.montereyherald.com/2020/01/01/college-housing-juggling-life-and-school-while-paying-rent/