MSU students struggle to find affordable rent off campus

Posted at 4:00 PM, Aug 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-07 18:00:54-04

BOZEMAN – With the fall semester starting up shortly at MSU, finding off-campus housing isn’t very easy for students.

Last year Montana State University had more than 14,000 students enrolled and only a fraction of those students are living on campus.

“Here we house 4,200 in the residence halls and several hundred more in graduate and family housing,” said MSU News Service Director Michael Becker.

Freshmen are required to live on campus at MSU but after the first year they can move off campus. Finding housing in Bozeman isn’t that easy.

“One girl is living in a trailer because she wasn’t able to find a place to live, so she lives in one of the local trailer parks,” said MSU graduate student Colton McCracken.

Students are looking at realtors, Craigslist and even long-term stays at an AirBnB. Not only are the housing options slim, but they aren’t cheap either.

“Now coming here since Bozeman is on an upward trend, there’s a lot more expense here especially around the university and I know for my fellow college students, finding a place under $1,000 or even $1,200 is super hard to find,” McCracken said.

MSU acknowledges how difficult it is for students to find off-campus housing. They do have resources to help students but are trying to address the issue in a different way.

Becker said, “MSU’s enrollment has been growing consistently for the past decade every year. Since 2011 MSU has spent — and this will be with the completion of our new residence hall in two years — we will have spent $110 million on housing.”

MSU has consistently been able to house any student that wants to live on campus.

Students are hoping as Bozeman continues to grow and more is being built, more housing will become available and at a cheaper rate.

Reporting by Emma Hamilton for MTN News