And yet, tuition at California’s state schools keeps going up.

Larry Gordon reports at the Los Angeles Times.

College students move off campus as room and board costs rise

When he moves off campus this fall, UCLA junior Will Van Der Wey said, he will miss the variety of dining hall meals. His homemade sandwiches just aren’t going to be as appealing. But even if his food options shrink, his budget won’t.

After sharing dorm rooms for two years, he is moving to a two-bedroom apartment in the Westwood area that he said will offer the chance to live and eat more cheaply, and have more independence from university-controlled housing. With rent shared by three friends and lower food costs, he anticipates saving about $2,000 by next summer, even after having to buy some second-hand furniture and dishes, silverware and glasses.

“Given the cost of tuition, a lot of students are eager to look for ways to save money. If moving off campus is a cheaper alternative than the dorms, that alone is enough to justify the decision,” said the biology major from San Jose.

Many students at public and private colleges across California and the nation are facing such decisions as the average costs of room and board are rising at rates double that of general inflation. Those higher living costs are increasing student debt and, experts say, leading students to enroll at commuter schools instead of out-of-town options that might be a better academic fit.

In California, housing and food costs on most campuses continue to rise without the public attention given to tuition hikes. After political maneuvering and student protests, in-state tuition for UC and Cal State undergraduates won’t increase for the next two years, continuing freezes implemented three years ago. But on-campus room and board can outweigh tuition at many of those schools.