Gentrification on College Campuses
The 2013 FAFSA indicated that more than 56,000 students were homeless.
Another day and the construction continues up and down South U. Today it is not a new state of the art facility to be used by Michigan students, but another high rise apartment building. Gentrification on college campuses, especially the University of Michigan, continues to be a barrier to success for many students.
Apartment buildings are typically located close to many of the most important resources students require: libraries, classrooms, and food. Not to mention, the close proximity of these buildings allow students to maximize the scarcest resource they have: time. But these homes come at a high cost, one that not all students can afford.
As houses continue to be torn down in the heart of campus and replaced with apartment buildings, students with lower housing budgets are continuously pushed farther off of campus. One of the most difficult decisions a student may have to make is whether or not they live with their friends in an apartment and work an extra 10 hours each week, or find another living situation more within their means. Stress regarding living situations can create quite the burden for college students.
The FAFSA does not have a set calculation to determine the amount of money a student will spend on housing each year. Colleges themselves determine living costs based on what they consider to be "reasonable" expenses. This leads to a systematic underestimate of student's living expenses.
What can we do to begin working against these structural inefficiencies before it becomes too late?