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'Rent prices in college towns are up so much, that students are sleeping in their cars'

Chapel Hill rent prices jumped 24% since 2020.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The school year is coming to an end for college students across the country. Millions faced high housing costs this past year and prices are only going to go higher, especially for those living off-campus.

College senior Jennifer Lopez learned a tough lesson about supply and demand. Dorms and apartments around UC Berkeley in northern California are hard to come by. She couldn't afford the $3,700 dollar a month rent on a one-bedroom, so she's sharing it with three roommates. "I definitely was not prepared to be this stressed about housing every year," Lopez said.

Rent prices in college towns across the country are skyrocketing. 

Chapel Hill, home to the University of North Carolina, has seen rents jump 24% since 2020, according to Apartment List. 

Tempe, where Arizona State is located, is up 31%. And there's been a 36% jump in Knoxville where students go to the University of Tennessee.

"In many of these college towns, the universities or the markets where these universities are haven't created enough housing to really support a growing student body," says David Garcia, a UC Berkeley housing policy researcher. "You have students who have to commute very long distances in order to attend classes or end up actually being homeless, which could be anything from crashing on couches or sleeping in their cars."

Because of a lack of housing last fall, the University of Tampa in Florida offered freshmen a break on tuition if they deferred one year. And in many college towns, it doesn't appear this fall will be any better.

Sanaa Sodhi, a UC Berkeley student, had a tough time just seeing a place. "We saw this on Zillow and requested a tour but no luck, unfortunately," she said. Sanaa and her friend were able to find a one-bedroom for $3,000 a month, which might turn out to be a bargain of sorts because rent prices are expected to keep climbing.

Correspondent: Nichelle Medina/Producer: Chris Stein