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College Co-Op Housing:  An Affordable Alternative to Dorms

Education, one of the largest expenses incurred in a person's life, comes at a high premium. In the U.S., a college student on average pays almost $10,000/yr as a resident for public education, and over $30,000/yr for private. Along with tuition and fees, student on-campus housing adds on hefty expenses.

College dormitories have long been the main source of on-campus housing options for students. Now, in concurrence with the millennial way of thinking that includes alterntive lifestyles and tastes, co-op housing has become an attractive option.

Housing co-operatives in general originated in New York City, and since the Great Depression, student cooperatives have grown and morphed into versions tailored to each generation. Today's university campuses are customizing coops with the mission of providing affordable shared living communities on-campus.

Each school lives off a certain philosophy, based on the pace, attitude and lifestyle of its host city/geographical area. In the laid-back, nature-loving California state, colleges like UC Davis have created Domies and Tri Co-ops. With an semi-hippie culture of anti-consumerism and hobbit-style living, The Domes rents its units for under $400/month and creates an intentional community as so many shared space communities do.

Tri Co-ops is a favorable option for low-income students and is comprised of 3 distinct sub housing communities and is selective in that it houses 12-15 students/year.

Main characteristics of student co-op housing:

1. Shared intention - each co-op community builds unity and bonding by establishing a shared philosophy of lifestyle. This includes minimalistic lifestyle, anti-consumerism and oppression and commitment to critical learning. Many co-ops utilize a shared equity model, so each member has an equal share in the community.

2. Affordability - its main goal is to provide affordable housing option compared to the dormitory housing.

3. Learning Resources - co-op communities offer learning opportunities that includes information exchange, debates, business training and mentorship/counseling.


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  1. Edwin

    Edwin on #

    what's tution?

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