As someone who went to a good school in the middle of nowhere, where rent was cheap and we were surrounded by farmland for 50 miles in every direction, I wonder if that's not the more sustainable way to do it.
Like computer science, having a college in a town doesn't require a lot from its location. It doesn't need to be near a river, oil or mineral deposits, etc. People travel there all the time to simply be there.
Going to college in an already large city, many of which have housing affordability problems already, seems to compound the issue. They aren't making any more land for housing near UCLA.
While it can be nice to have lots of cultural and interesting things to do in the town where you go to school, I'm not sure it's really required.
I wonder if this means that schools in smaller "college towns" will be more appealing... although it seems like reputation is everything, and everyone still wants to go to an expensive school thinking it will make a difference in their life, as opposed to getting a similar education with less name recognition, as shown by the article:
> “But I clicked ‘accept’ on my admission anyway,” she says, figuring that attending UT Austin’s lauded journalism school would lead to more internship opportunities and, ultimately, a job after she graduated.
Although maybe this is all just naive thinking. Perhaps this would just end up with the system con-ing them somewhere else. We always find a reason and a way to extract more money from students.
Honestly, it’s not just universities... everyone should consider if they really need to be in a large city. While there are some drawbacks (childcare), generally my quality of life is higher and the cost of living is affordable.
On the flip side, I cant drive so my quality if life has been shit on smaller cities and suburban areas.
2 hour drive for me.
Yes, schools are not fungible. As soon as you think you've thought of some axis to evaluate your options on, like rent affordability, you can always find another that would give you an opposite order of choices, like the quality of the opportunities the program gives you.
Rather than pricing these priorities, there's merit in emotional reasoning. Like maybe getting a student excited for an affordable choice is more important than making the "right" choice.
Maybe this is why, when comparing colleges, many students choose the maximum affordable prestige (i.e., respond to peer pressure, something very emotional). I agree that your line of thinking is helpful, but it can't compete with Internet posts digesting US News rankings; parents trying to one up each other; other students wearing their Harvard and Stanford sweaters to school.
So the question isn't, Can someone get a great education in a small college town? Of course that's true, nobody is going to litigate that with you. The question is, is a measured approach to making those choices fundamentally opposed to the reigning psychology of all the involved consumers?
It needs faculty and faculty generally want to live somewhere with good quality of life and ample job opportunities for their spouse and children.
Unlike students, faculty arent transients, they are in their permanent home.
If I look at some of the top CS programs, some are in hot tech areas, but others are almost responsible for local jobs directly. Specifically, UIUC is in the middle of nowhere. I'm not sure there would be a lot of innovative technology development in Pittsburgh without CMU either.
Finally, I'm going to school for a masters online, and it definitely seems like one path forward. I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything learning remotely.
Which online master are you doing?
- CMU is in Pittsburgh which isn't really a tech hotbed.
- University of Michigan is an Ann Arbor which is basically just a college town.
- University of Wisconsin is in Madison which isn't a hot area either.
All are great CS schools.
U Wisc and U Mich aren't top schools.
A good majority of my coursemates ended up travelling to London (or indeed Cambridge) to take up internships during my time at Warwick - there was no need to be shackled to finding somewhere in Coventry!
For full-time (salaried) internships, I got them at major companies and lived there for a semester, then came back to UIUC.
UIUC despite being in a cornfield area is the largest supplier of swengs in Silicon Valley. Even early-to-midsize Microsoft was mainly populated by UIUC grads and some well-known companies like YouTube, Tesla, AMD, Oracle etc. have their roots there.
Moving to a major metro area for university doesn't make much sense, but having universities in major metro areas makes a lot of sense.
 Admittedly not universally an option, but probably pretty common.
That part of Michigan, and adjoining parts of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois are sort of a megacity now though, so the University isn't a main factor these days.
It was one of the best experiences of my life. Terrific little town.
I think Athens, Georgia was about 100k people 40 years or so ago and is now 125k. It is home to UGA, one of the big two universities in the state. It's also a source of some big name bands, like R.E.M.
The Chicago to Detroit train runs >100 mph and the Toronto to Windsor line is being upgraded to do the same. Earlier this month Amtrak revealed that they are working with Ontario to have service from Chicago to Toronto via Detroit. The railroad tunnel under the Detroit River already exists. It's basically going to be another population corridor that runs parallel to the Bos-Wash corridor with high-speed rail running through the spine. Ann Arbor has a train station on that line, so it will certainly benefit.
Isn't a big part of the thrust of the article that walkable housing is becoming less and less affordable? If the university owned a bunch of adjoining vacant land, it would be easy to add housing. But it's more or less land locked.
This fundamentally misunderstands how the market works. Consider the counter-factual: had the developers not come in and redeveloped aging structures into modern buildings, those old structures would be just as expensive as the new ones due to a shortage. Yet another piece that demonizes people who actually build homes while not considering what happens when we _dont_ build homes. Just look at SF for what the reality of not building looks like.
Of course, all of these single family detached homes had signs telling you to vote against the most recent proposed change in the city's land development code.
- buy a cheap, 10-year old car
- live in a pretty decent apartment about 20 miles from campus
- get up at 4:30 AM, drive to campus before rush hour, and do my work in the library
- pack "hiking food" (trail mix, etc.) in my backpack and eat for real at night
It worked out well and my living space was much cheaper and nicer than what was available near campus. Audiobooks for the commute were a plus.
My parents don’t have a lot and my younger sibling was going to take loans this year for housing and food. I’m helping her out with that.
My own controversial thoughts are that higher education in this country is an epic scam. I had degrees in CS and Finance. Aside from 2-3 main courses in each program (algorithms, operating systems, and networks in CS, maybe linear algebra, stat, and diff eq) nothing else prepared me at all for my career. So many courses required to get a number of credits that were a waste of time in hindsight.
Then didn’t help me become a better learner. They didn’t help me evolve past my prejudices. All of that change happened in my career, and all my success with learning skills while I was working. My degree programs may serve some people, but they were too abstract.
My professors generally didn’t care. They existed to do research. Most courses were taught by TAs. I remember in 2010 a finance professor going on about Amazons business model and how it was a company doomed to failure. Most of these educators never worked a day at a company outside of education.
And now rents in the small town are growing. Subdivided houses are torn down for luxury apartments, and with recent cuts to government loans, it might not be affordable for some low-income students.
And I paid less than $1000 for a 2br adjacent to north campus (split with a roommate, so really $500) that was 5 a minute walk from some dorms, 15 minutes to the campus itself - and that's if you ignored the (pretty frequent) buses. Which makes me even more skeptical of the "no one can afford to live there" narrative...
Their cheapest rates (~$1000...) are for double occupancy studio apartments that are about 550 square feet. They are nicely furnished (at least, that's what it says on the sticker, who knows how well the furnishing are kept up).
That said, there’s definitely more the university and others could do despite the opposition, and it’s getting more attention. Even as a student splitting a house with 6-8 other people, I was paying at least $800/month. Ann Arbor is not the easiest place to be a commuter into, so students have very few options.
It's even been remodeled.
What I really wanted was one of these tiny apartments . Build a whole apartment of these near campus, students only sleep at home anyway, and sometimes not even that. My univeristy is building a new residence and it has the same 3-5 bedrooms to a giant apartment with a living room.
I wonder what's the main barrier to building a lot of tiny single student apartments. Is it the municipal regulations, are they not economical or did research show that students actually want living rooms?
EDIT: Just look at the size of these living rooms. I've been in so many of these apartments and they're almost always full of boxes and trash.
The answer to these questions is almost always "it's the law." Most cities have habitability requirements that mandate minimum sizes and required rooms. What'll end up happening, as happens here in SF, is that the residents will throw up a temporary wall in the living room to split the rent further.
The answer lies somewhere in https://library.municode.com/tx/austin/codes/code_of_ordinan...
San Francisco: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/ATNHPIUS06075A