Higher rent rates affecting college students

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - School is back in session for college students and while they’re hitting the books, rising rent prices are hitting their pocketbooks.

College students are also affected by the higher rent costs in Panama City. (WJHG/WECP)

For some Gulf Coast State College students like Cheyenne Braddam, who is living with her husband in their mother-in-law's house, the search for housing has been difficult.

Braddam said, “We’ve been looking since July and we’ve had no luck really. Everywhere either has a three-month waiting period or you can pay $2,000 a month when you only make maybe $1,500 a month at your best.”

According to a study from Zumper, Panama City ranks third in highest rent price increases among college towns across the country with a more than 15 percent year to year.

While Panama City might not be the typical college town, the effect of high rent remains the same.

Presley Penney, another Gulf Coast State College student said, “Me and my significant other right now, we’re about to move out because we want to be on our own but all the places are $1,000 to $2,000 a month. The cheapest place we found was $400 a month, but it’s all the way in Fort Walton.”

With the cost of books and tuition, living expenses can push budgets over the top.

Penney said, "If you want a one-bedroom it's way more expensive so for two people, the best option is a cheap studio."

There may be no place like home, but as rent continues to climb in some areas, home is getting harder to find.

Braddam added, “I think we’ve kind of just given up at this point. We’re just waiting.”

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