As the fall semester begins, many college students will be attending classes from the relative safety of their family homes. Others have arrived to live on university campuses, with varying amounts of success; even schools that enforce strict social distancing guidelines are seeing outbreaks of the coronavirus.
But some students are pursuing a third option: Renting giant houses with friends — sometimes in far-flung locales — and doing school remotely, together. Call it the rise of the college “collab house.”
Two groups of students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for example, have rented large houses in Hawaii for the fall semester. Six rising seniors at Columbia University will be living in a house in Portland, Ore. Several rising seniors at Harvard are renting property in Montana. There are at least seven large houses that have been rented in the greater Salt Lake City area alone, filled with students from different colleges.
These houses range in scale from lavish and pricey productions to smart, budget-friendly solutions for first generation, low-income students.