Still, other students are hard-pressed to pay for school and books, let alone a lavish apartment. Over in Westwood, UCLA is racing to add more affordable housing on campus, where demand has always been high and dormitories operate on a nonprofit basis.
Residence halls for about 1,500 undergrads are under construction. Compared with the hotel-like digs of some colleges, these units are modest. Students will live as many as three to a room, share bathrooms and eat in dining halls. But the rooms will be wired for the latest electronics and built to strict environmental standards that include separate trash chutes for recycling and outdoor sun shades on the windows.
UCLA is also building 500 units of graduate student housing. These studios will have kitchenettes, contemporary furnishings and more privacy. Rent will probably be between $1,000 and $1,200 a month.
"With all the pressure coming on the tuition side, we need to be sure students have an affordable housing option to attend UCLA," said Peter Angelis, who is in charge of housing at the university. "A student's academic experience is greatly enhanced when living on campus. We are focusing our resources on building beds."