Real estate prices, rising rents, put pressure on University of Montana, Montanan State

Montana State University in Bozeman. (Provided by MSU for the Daily Montanan)

Escalating rents in Montana are putting pressure on campus housing, and both flagship universities are at or near capacity as the school year begins.

Montana State University in Bozeman said it has not found a correlation between high campus housing demand and inaccessible real estate in the community, but according to the U.S. Census Bureau, median rent in the city rose by $229 from 2019 to 2022.

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Missoula also has seen upward pressures on rents. As the director and creator of the Associated Students of University of Montana’s Bear Necessities office, which started in September 2021, Kat Cowley helps hundreds of students find basic resources, including housing. 

“Historically, students have had a lot of trouble finding housing in Missoula,” said Cowley, who herself experienced a housing emergency when she was a student. “There was one point in my schooling that we had another period of low vacancy rates, but we weren’t also seeing this inflation. So it’s been tough for students before, but it’s never been tough like this.”

Now, UM’s residence halls are at full capacity, and Cowley

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