TAMPA -- Rising rents are affecting local college students... and may be motivating more of them to live on campus.
Thursday and Friday are move-in days at 33 University of South Florida residence halls in Tampa and St. Petersburg. The Tampa Bay area has some of the highest rents in the nation, and USF assistant vice president of housing and residential education Ana Hernandez says rents for apartments near campus have "risen" significantly as well.
That may be contributing to a record number of on-campus resident students -- more than 6,500 at the Tampa campus and 900 in St. Petersburg.
Hernandez says students want to be close to campus to take part in activities and enjoy the ambience. USF has been working over the past decade to make its campus more residential and shed its former reputation as a commuter school.
Hernandez says resident students in Tampa come from 46 states and 83 nations. At St. Pete it's 33 states and 17 countries.
New enhancements include Blenz Bowls, a new smoothie and acai bowl franchise in the Marshall Student Center on the Tampa campus. The only other location in Florida opened last year on the St. Petersburg campus.