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John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Top Colleges with the Highest and Lowest Off-Campus Rents

September 16, 2016 1:39 am


The cost for students to live off-campus is steep—especially at the nation’s best colleges.

That’s according to a recently released analysis by Zillow, in conjunction with the unveiling of the latest U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges ranking, that reveals 80 percent of the country’s top universities are in expensive rental markets. Students at Princeton, Stanford and UC Berkeley can expect to pay the most for off-campus housing, the analysis found:

Top Colleges with Highest Off-Campus Rents

Stanford University
Stanford/Palo Alto, Calif.
U.S. News Ranking: 5 (Tied with Columbia University)
Median Monthly Rent: $6,139

Princeton University
Princeton, N.J.
U.S. News Ranking: 1
Median Monthly Rent: $4,529

University of California – Berkeley
Berkeley, Calif.
U.S. News Ranking: 20 (Tied with Emory University, Georgetown University)
Median Monthly Rent: $3,534

California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, Calif.
U.S. News Ranking: 12 (Tied with Northwestern University)
Median Monthly Rent: $2,720

University of Southern California/University of California – Los Angeles
Los Angeles, Calif.
U.S. News Rankings: 23/24 (Tied with Carnegie Mellon University and University of Virginia)
Median Monthly Rent: $2,701

Top Colleges with Lowest Off-Campus Rents

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame/South Bend, Ind.
U.S. News Ranking: 14 (Tied with Cornell University, Rice University and Vanderbilt University)
Median Monthly Rent: $723

Washington University – St. Louis
St. Louis, Mo.
U.S. News Ranking: 19
Median Monthly Rent: $881

University of Rochester
Rochester, N.Y.
U.S. News Ranking: 32 (Tied with College of William and Mary)
Median Monthly Rent: $945

Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, N.C.
U.S. News Ranking: 27 (Tied with University of Michigan – Ann Arbor)
Median Monthly Rent: $994

Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, Pa.
U.S. News Ranking: 24 (Tied with University of California – Los Angeles and University of Virginia)
Median Monthly Rent: $1,141 

“As students and their parents are filling out applications this fall and are crunching the numbers on financial aid and student loans, they should also factor in the cost of housing,” says Jeremy Wacksman, chief marketing officer at Zillow. “Looking at both on- and off-campus housing prices, and thinking through whether they’ll likely live with roommates or alone will help them gauge an accurate picture of the student loans and financial aid they will need in order to obtain their degree.”

Students seeking acceptance to either list of colleges should consider how rents may rise in the years they attend, and even beyond, should they enter the workforce near their alma mater, Wacksman adds. 

Source: Zillow
 

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Don't Get Pressed into Buying Protection at Checkout

September 15, 2016 1:36 am


Appliance, electronic and tool retailers are often very well-trained in the art of up-selling protection plans that extend warranties and claim to provide bonus services to help protect your purchase. Howard Schwartz of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) says when you're asked to pay extra for an extended service contract, ask yourself: Is the extra cost worth it?

The answer, according to the BBB, is not so simple.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advises consumers to understand exactly what they'll get for their money if they buy extended coverage. The FTC says rather than extending a manufacturer's product warranty, most product protection plans are service contracts, which are not the same as the manufacturer's warranty, and they typically contain wide-ranging restrictions and exclusions.

Some consumers feel a service contract is worth the peace of mind once a manufacturer's warranty expires, the BBB states. Others don't see the point in paying extra money to buy a five year-long protection service for a moderately-priced item, such as a $65 printer.

Alternatives to service contracts include insurance policies for merchandise that is easily lost, stolen or broken, such as a smartphone. Some credit cards extend manufacturers' original warranties as a perk, according to the BBB.

Unfortunately, most cashiers do not have the information you need about the extended protection policies they sell. The BBB encourages you to take home a copy of the paperwork and understand the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations of the extra coverage:

• Weigh the benefits. What is the expected average lifespan of the merchandise?

• How reliable is the type of product?

• Understand the terms and conditions. If you buy extra protection, make certain you know what is covered and what is not, such as labor, parts and service calls.

• Get details about customer service. How long do you have to wait for repairs? Do you have to pay for shipping? Is the repair service contracted out to a local service?

The BBB recommends researching retailers before you buy at BBB.org.
 

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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