dormsCHICAGO— Community college boards of trustees and local housing authorities will now have authority to develop affordable housing for community college students under a new law sponsored by State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago)

“This will be a major bonus for not only students but community colleges as well,” Sims said. “There are many advantages to living on campus for students, but the benefits go far beyond having an onsite dorm room or apartment. Studies show that students who live on campus complete more credit hours and have higher grade point averages.”

Traditionally, community colleges do not have the right to own student housing. In order for community colleges to develop affordable housing for students, the process must be administered through a local Housing Authority or nonprofit organization.

Advocates for the law also suggest that restricted housing on community college campuses fails to meet the needs of every student. Traditionally, community colleges have catered to students living within a reasonable driving distance of the school, but while that arrangement works for some students, more students are facing a lengthy and costly commute. That can present a challenging barrier to those living at a distance, especially for students who live internationally.

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