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August 18, 2019

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A look inside UNLV’s new student housing: It’s not your parents’ dorm

The Degree New UNLV Housing

Christopher DeVargas

A look at The Degree, a new on campus apartment complex for students at UNLV, Mon. July 15, 2019.

The Degree New UNLV Housing

A look at The Degree, a new on campus apartment complex for students at UNLV, Mon. July 15, 2019. Launch slideshow »

The days of bunk beds and shared dormitory bathrooms are long gone for many college students.

“Parents want their kids to not only have a college experience, but be in a place that’s safe and clean,” said Eric Midby, CEO of the Midby Companies, whose newest project at UNLV has all of the bells and whistles of a modern-living facility.

The Degree, a 226-unit on-campus apartment building at Maryland Parkway and Cottage Grove Avenue, features study rooms, bike storage, a fitness center, game room and parking garage. There’s more, especially outside with a beach volleyball court, fire pit social area, outdoor television and 2,000-square-foot pool.

Yes, college living is getting better.

“Quality, on-campus housing helps to enhance the overall student experience,” said Juanita Fain, UNLV vice president of Student Affairs. “One of our goals is to provide students with a high-quality and well-rounded experience that includes on-campus living, and The Degree helps take us to the next level. More students living on campus will encourage greater participation in events, including arts and entertainment, athletics, lectures and educational activities.”

Click to enlarge photo

A look at The Degree, a new on campus apartment complex for students at UNLV, Mon. July 15, 2019.

The $70 million project is the first of its kind for student housing in Southern Nevada and is the largest in Nevada, UNLV officials said. Midby said developers modeled The Degree after other student housing complexes in schools like Arizona State University and the University of San Diego.

The five-story building can hold 758 residents. While geared primarily for UNLV students, the complex offers housing to all students and faculty affiliated with one of the Nevada System of Higher Education institutions.

The Degree offers two and four-bedroom plans, each with its own bathroom. All rooms come fully furnished with a full kitchen, common area and in-unit washer and dryer.

The apartments are more affordable than on-campus dorms, with rent ranging between $500 and 1,000 per month, officials said. Each tenant is responsible for their own 12-month lease, so if one roommate were to skip out on the rent, the rest of the tenants in the unit would not be held responsible.

The Degree represents a “significant investment” along the Maryland Parkway area, as well as Phase One of the university’s “U-District,” a developing urban housing community that will eventually house 3,000 residents. Midby said he hopes to add two or three more housing complexes at UNLV in the next few years, depending on market demand.

“UNLV isn’t going anywhere, and there will always be students coming in who need housing,” he said. “Rooms are already 80% full. There are some available but they’re going quickly.”

On-campus apartments also offer students a transition from dorm life to housing in the real world, as students get the privacy of having their own place while also having the convenience of being within walking distance of their classes, Midby said.

The Degree is part of a wider effort by UNLV officials to give students the opportunity spend more time on campus, as only 6% of the 28,000 student-body live on campus. The hope is that student housing like The Degree will change the campus life and make it an attractive option for out-of-state students, as well as an option for students who want to “go away” to college.