Georgia is on course to become one of the nation's largest experiments in privatized college dorms, but it's unclear whether the changes will lower students' bills at a time when university costs are soaring.
The new arrangements, which the state's university system has been planning since 2012, would lease to private companies the future revenue streams from the dorms — essentially student rent. In exchange, such companies would oversee maintenance. Student housing on nine campuses is included in the first phase of the privatization plan backed by the system's governing body, the Board of Regents.
At the start of these partnerships, universities may find themselves negotiating the things students care most about: amount of rent, which dorm they can live in and what happens to traditional arrangements like students serving as resident advisers. Georgia officials say they plan to maintain some control over rent and daily operations.