Sacramento-area colleges are experiencing their own housing boom.
With record enrollment statewide, college campuses across California are abuzz with construction as millions of dollars are being spent on new residence halls.
"College campuses throughout the state are looking for ways to build housing for students and find housing for students so that they can afford to go to college," Hans Johnson, the Director of the Higher Ed Center at the Public Policy Institute of California, said. "It's a big deal."
In the Sacramento area, UC Davis has invested nearly $400 million in student housing in recent years with a combination of public and private financing. They have another $200 million worth of housing planned with a goal of 6,000 new beds for students by 2027. Sacramento State will open a $55 million residential hall this fall that will house 400 students.
"More students in housing is the key," Samuel Jones, the Director of Housing for Sac State, said. "We have a demand for housing for on-campus housing students and so we're looking to continue [to meet] that."
According to Jones, the university has been focused on losing its commuter-school status.
"I think it's a positive way the university is moving toward,” Jones said. “Because when you have a campus community that want to be a part of the campus community, you're going to see more attendance at athletic events, you're going to see more students involved in clubs and sports on campus or fraternities and sororities.”
Education experts say living on campus during your first year can increase your chances of graduation because of the available resources.
“When you live on campus, that means one other resource you have that's really tremendously important to students is other students,” Johnson said. “Other students are taking the classes you're taking and they're accessible and they're available and those kinds of interactions we know help students complete. It makes them feel more a part of the campus.”
The new housing does not affect tuition or come from taxpayer dollars – it’s paid for by completely separate funding. Often, this can be in the form of bonds and public-private partnerships.