Looking for affordable UK student housing? You won’t find it on campus—at least not through the University of Kentucky and its new residence halls. Student housing on campus appears attractive, but it does NOT come cheap and it does NOT come without its limitations / drawbacks (more on that latter point in a future blog).

It took big money to construct UK’s student residence halls. So much money, in fact, that UK jumped into bed with Education Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE-EdR) to make its vision of housing on campus a reality. EdR is a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange with a market value of $2.5B+ at the time of this writing. For details, please visit the company’s Web site at http://www.EdRtrust.com. EdR financed UK’s housing revitalization through its On-Campus Equity Plan — The ONE PlanSM —, which used the company’s equity and financial stability to fund projects on UK’s land. The program helped create substantial long-term financial benefits for EdR and UK.

When UK walked down the aisle with EdR, it essentially exited the housing business. In exchange for EdR pouring a ton of money into UK’s campus, UK gave the company a sweetheart financial deal (see attached “University of Kentucky and Education Realty Trust, Inc. Lease Agreement – Phase III-B Summary of Terms February 19, 2016”). Just like any other publicly traded company, EdR is out to maximize profits for its shareholders. Its profit comes at the expense of UK students. So, what kind of university housing expense will UK students face for the 2018 -2019 school year? Housing rates for UK residence halls were announced around December 12, 2017 and the rents, not surprisingly at all, went up (see attachment).

Student Housing Expenses for 2018-2019

EdR is not the only “CAT on campus.” There are, of course, alternative and cheaper student housing options around the University of Kentucky. If you are looking for affordable UK student housing, then look no further than Bluegrass Rentals, the UKMVP, where on-campus and off-campus apartments range in cost from $595 to $795 for a 1-BR apartment, $375 to $462.50 for a 2-BR apartment, and $391 to $425 for a 3-BR apartment.