Melody Hunt is a senior at the University of Arkansas looking forward to graduation in May. Like most college students preparing to graduate, Hunt spends most of her time writing papers, working at Glo Tanning, building her resume, and applying for full-time jobs. What Hunt did not expect is how often she would have to worry about if she would be able to afford the house she lives in.
Hunt, like many UA students, is having trouble enjoying her last few months in Fayetteville because she is stressed about making enough money to pay rent every month. Hunt is a theater major at UA.
“I think the cost of living for students compared to the wage rate employers are paying students is unmanageable,” Hunt said. “Living on your own while being a student just isn’t realistic anymore, especially on a part-time income.”
Demand for rental properties is rising alongside the enrollment and population growth at UA and in Fayetteville, and developers are trying to figure out how to best meet this demand.
According to the UA website, non-freshman enrollment at UA increased 27.9 percent between fall 2010 and fall 2017. A non-freshman is any student who enrolls with more than 24 credit hours. This increase in mostly off-campus students living in Fayetteville has resulted in more demand for available rental properties.
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