Ohio State University: 3 Big Reasons Why Rent Is Too Darn High in Columbus

Trying to find the money to pay rent every month feels like you’re competing against Usain Bolt in a 100-meter dash – you just can’t keep up. If you feel this way, know that you’re not alone. A huge chunk of students at Ohio State University are going through the same struggle as you. Without the “help” of financial aid, most students wouldn’t be able to afford their rent since the cost of a rental is rising faster than the cost of wages. Yikes.

But have you ever thought about why rent is the way it is in Columbus? Well, we have. This is why we decided to do a little digging to find out the top 3 reasons rent prices are so high near Ohio State University.

Reason #1: Popularity

When you picked to go to OSU, what were your reasons for going there? Was it because they have a stellar (insert your major here) program? Or was it because you wanted to get away from home and go to a big school that has a bomb sports team? While your parents might believe that you chose to go to OSU for its academic reputation alone, you know deep down that you wanted to go to a school that was KIND OF A BIG DEAL. And there’s no judgment over choosing to attend a prestigious school because of its got a lot of history, demand, and a ton of students.

But here’s the thing, prestigious schools tend to cost a pretty penny. According to HomeUnion, schools where the cost of education is higher often have higher rent prices. And OSU is no exception to that.

Reason #2: Enrollment Increase 

Due to the rise in the cost of a college education and the decline of the value of a degree, college enrollment has been continuously falling in the last eight consecutive years. But some at campuses have enrollment that has continued to grow during this enrollment decline. OSU is one of those schools and has had a 5.26% enrollment increase over the last 5 years.

Okay, but how does that affect you? Shouldn’t a higher enrollment be a good thing for OSU? Well, it is – but not necessarily for your wallet.

When there’s only enough room for a certain amount of students that can live in the dorms, more students end up needing off-campus housing (duh). With a higher off-campus population, there’s more demand for rentals in the surrounding area.

Unfortunately for you, this is a perfect storm of higher than average rent prices. When there are more students (aka more demand) for apartments and houses near OSU (aka supply), landlords can increase their prices since they know someone will meet their demands. 

Reason #3: Luxury Apartment Complexes

If the above reasons for high rent prices at OSU were a thunderstorm, the number of luxury apartments in Columbus would be the thunder … because that business is-a-BOOMIN. And that should make you more nervous than real thunder does to our office dog Salsa.

Well surely if you just choose to not live in one of those crazy apartments, you won’t have to cough up more dough than what you’d like. Well, yes and no. Yes, those luxury apartments cost more, and choosing to rent a regular apartment or house in Columbus will cost you less. But, all of those luxury apartments will incrementally inflate the rent prices from smaller landlords in the area as well. And when there’s a literal ton of luxury apartments in Columbus (seriously look at the OSU map page for verification), it’s going to affect the rent prices in the area. 

Here’s why: Luxury apartments attract a tenant with a deeper pocket than most college students. When one complex is full, those wealthier tenants need other places to live in the city. At this point, smaller landlords with fewer units end up updating their rentals and increasing their prices to entice those wealthier renters. 

While this post may make it seem like you’re a little bit SOL when it comes to rent, you should know that there are still affordable apartments and houses at OSU. The key to finding them is to start your off-campus housing search before everyone else does, and to make sure you compare a ton of different options before you sign on the dotted line. You can do all of that on the Ohio State University page on College Pads, but no pressure.

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