Soaring rents are threatening to price many students out of higher education, according to research by the National Union of Students (NUS).
The NUS found rents at student halls had doubled in the past decade – and had increased 25% in the past three years.
Students living in university or private halls shell out an average £117 a week in rent – compared with just £59 paid 10 years ago – the survey found.
At an average £140 a week, private companies letting state-of-the-art halls of residence charge the highest, although the amounts range widely between cities.
Students living in London pay the highest housing costs, with the most expensive flats costing up to £415 a week.
The NUS fears the high cost of accommodation may price poorer students out of higher education or force them to study at universities nearer home.
Average rents take around two-thirds of the £5,000 a year student loan, leaving little to cover other essential bills like housing, food, books, travel and entertainment.
The NUS report, completed with help from student housing group Unipol, also disclosed many students had to ask their family to top up their income. Many also work part-time, dip in to savings or apply for bursaries to pay for their education.
Pete Mercer, NUS vice-president, said: “Student rents have skyrocketed, leaving fewer reasonably priced accommodation options for students from lower and middle income backgrounds who are really feeling the pinch.
“The responsibility of universities to support their students does not begin and end at the doors of the lecture hall.
“University heads should urgently be looking at properly planning accommodation supply and capping rent increases to ensure students are not priced out of living in halls.”
Private developers are still investing in student housing – with one report confirming £2 billion spent in the sector in the three months to September 30 alone.