Breaking News
More () »

'It's so much money': ASU students struggle with high cost of rent

Students said with availability low and prices high, finding a place to live is a challenge.

PHOENIX — Rising rent prices in Arizona are hitting students at Arizona State University hard as more than 140,000 students start the new school year. 

"I'm really excited," said freshman Colleen Schaner.

But with that enthusiasm, comes frustration, because finding a place to live these days, isn't always easy.

"There's a lot of competition out there and people want to live close to campus," said sophomore Justin Tassinari.

"I have some friends who are full time students and have a full time job and have to have two or three roommate just to have $600-800 rent, per person," said sophomore Jaston White. "And then utilities and internet, it all adds up.

White is a full-time student at the school. He said his search for a place for his wife and three-month-old turned up unexpected results.

"For our size, probably $2,200-$2,400 a month," he said. "And that's just for a two bed, one bath."

And with a cost like that, they chose the next best option.

"We were looking into renting or buying a home," he said. "But to be honest, living with my mom seemed like the best way to go."

And they're not the only ones living at home. Other students as well that spoke with 12News said they also made the decision to live at home because not only is it convenient, but it helps with costs.

According to Zumper, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Phoenix, is currently at $1,430. That's an 18% increase compared to this time, last year.

"Even with a roommate it's still, percentage wise, it's so much money," said recent graduate, Peter Smith.

Smith just graduated a few months ago and said finding a decent place to live has always been difficult for a lot of students. 

"I came out of ASU with a good job, it pays well for being out of college," he said. "But if I was living where I was before, that's still nearly half of my take home pay. So when you think about all the other expenses you have to pay, I don't know how anyone is able to afford out here on their own."

Smith said he doesn't know what the alternative is, but said having roommates can help. Still, it can be a challenge.

He also said the high cost of rent is a problem that can have consequences today and in the future.

"It has repercussions down the line because if you can't build that savings to get a down payment to buy a house, you can't make that progression."

And even though the semester has just started, students said the best thing they can do now, is plan ahead.

12News asked one sophomore when he'll start his search for housing for next year.

"Probably pretty soon," he said. "Especially because you know people are looking already. You're looking for next year's lease by the time you sing this one."

ASU said its dorms are full and are currently housing more than 16,000 students across its campuses. They said there is a waitlist currently, which they said is normal, and they're doing what they can to put students up temporarily, until a permanent housing is found. They also said there are plans on adding new dormitories as early as 2024.

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL: 'Es demasiado dinero': Los estudiantes de ASU luchan con el alto costo del alquiler

Up to Speed

Catch up on the latest news and stories on the 12News YouTube channel. Subscribe today.

Before You Leave, Check This Out