College students on the hunt for housing next year will have another option to choose from with the construction of The Vista — right across the street from Stanislaus State — slated for completion this summer.
“What we have created is an environment where students can focus 100 percent on their academic career while we provide the essentials,” said general manager Courtney Jurasko. “Reliable state-of-the-art amenities, social and networking opportunities, and a price that is affordable for students on even the strictest budget. Students don’t need to worry about coming up with money up front to afford living here, their financial aid covers the cost of living and they aren’t responsible for utilities from month to month.”
According to Jurasko, The Vista is able to accommodate 660 residents with 180 apartments. Each apartment comes fully furnished, with wood style flooring, multiple closets in select bedrooms, a private bathroom in every bedroom, stainless steel appliances, flat screen TVs in every room, private bedroom locks, washer and dryer. Residents can choose between different floor plans ranging from a studio to four-bedroom apartments, and take advantage of individual, per-person leases.
“We are sold out of studios, we have a handful of spaces left in our two-bedrooms and one full three-bedroom left,” said Jurasko. “The remaining spaces are in our four-bedrooms and we offer two different styles.”
When it comes to the financial obligations associated with living at The Vista, Jurasko said that pricing fluctuates based on availability and options, such as bringing a pet, top floor view or larger closets. The Vista is currently offering a “24-hour Look and Lease Special,” meaning that students who tour and reserve their space have the potential to save $399.
“The best way to obtain our current pricing and specials is to come to our office, but we offer rates starting at $550 with all utilities included and the apartments come fully furnished,” said Jurasko.
At The Vista, students are provided with reliable internet, a computer lab with free printing services and a quiet place for them to focus as late or as frequently as they desire. When asked to describe its atmosphere, Jurasko said that The Vista is “designed for the student whose top priority is graduating on time.”
“It can be really difficult to do that given that some majors are impacted and availability of classes that students need to graduate are hard to come by,” said Jurasko. “We pair students up based on their major and offer a place where they can network for success with state of the art amenities that complement the completion of their coursework.”
Other community amenities at The Vista include a resort-style pool, outdoor TV lounge, volleyball court, game room, theatre, outdoor grilling, basketball court, fully-loaded clubhouse, 24-hour fitness center, cyber cafe with coffee, 24-hour emergency maintenance, after-hours courtesy patrol — all in a gated community with electronic controlled access.
“Our residents will enjoy weekly academic, social and recreational programming designed to enhance their college experience and further their objective of graduating in four years or less,” said Jurasko.
Jurasko said that one of the main benefits of The Vista is how much money it saves students. She said that The Vista is much more affordable than living on campus and financial aid also covers the cost of housing. Since the facility does not require a meal plan, she said that students also have the potential of saving over $300 a month. Parking is also included, saving students another $360 a year.
“Other cost savings come from all-inclusive utilities which can be upwards of $150 per month and students who are no longer commuting are saving gas, wear and tear and investing the hour or more per day spent commuting either studying or participating in the college experience,” said Jurasko. “Commuters also love that they now have the option to be more involved in campus life and student organizations while living at The Vista.”
Despite the university’s new neighbor, Stanislaus State Housing and Residential Life Assistant Director Rebekah Gregory said that the on-campus community is on track to welcome even more students next year.
“The Vista will be a good fit for some students, but we’re not directly competing with them because what we offer is just so different,” said Gregory. “Last year we were unsure, but we were pleasantly surprised when students showed that they still want to live here instead.”
Stan State Housing is located near the heart of the campus by the University Union, dining hall, classrooms, laboratories, computer rooms and library. The on-campus community is designed to provide a social and supportive living environment with privacy and security for over 700 students of all class levels, however, a majority are freshmen. Gregory said that while there is still room for freshmen, the department already has a waitlist for upperclassmen.
Gregory said that Stan State Housing includes three villages, which encompass 190 units that can house anywhere between four to six students. Gregory said that of the three villages, one is mainly reserved for upperclassmen.
Amenities include community, life and academic support hubs, a TV lounge, laundry facility, computer lab, two swimming pools, bike storage, two outdoor basketball courts, volleyball court, and a 200-seat dining facility. Each unit comes fully-furnished with cable and internet, as well as practical perks, such as career and academic advising from a Resident Assistant, who will facilitate roommate mediation and roommate switching services, and Peer Academic Leader.
“It can be really scary walking onto a college campus with no idea what to do or where to go,” said Gregory. “Our Resident Assistants and Peer Academic Leaders help students adjust to college and a lot of students will say that they saved them their freshmen year.”
Similar to The Vista, the costs of living in Stan State Housing varies depending on room type. Students can choose between suites, which offer single or triple occupancy, and apartments, which offer single or double occupancy. The university also offers multiple payment options, and financial aid can be used to help cover the cost of housing. Fees are all-inclusive, according to Gregory, who said that they also include a meal plan, internet, cable, appliances and utilities.
“We are the second most-affordable of all the CSU campuses. Only Sac State has a cheaper living option, but it’s only by about $14,” said Gregory. “I work with incoming freshmen who come in thinking on-campus options are not a realistic option, but no matter what their family makes, it’s a very real option.”
Gregory said that a portion of student fees associated with living on-campus go towards weekly bus trips, which transport about 50 students anywhere from two to four hours away for a fun and educational getaway. Past trips have included museums, concerts, baseball games, Yosemite National Park and Hearst Castle.
“Student fees provide opportunities for them to learn in a fun way and experience something out of the classroom,” said Gregory. “These trips are wildly successful because they meet new people they wouldn’t normally meet and they are learning. Their whole worldview is just kind of expanding.”
According to Gregory, students said that benefits of on-campus housing include proximity to classes, friendship and networking opportunities, and the convenience of the all-inclusive rates.
“That gives them a piece of mind,” said Gregory. “They need to worry about school, not about how to live as a fully independent adult — at least, not yet. They need to figure out college first.”