The answer to your question varies greatly depending upon the type and price of property you would buy. As an example, some from out state in your same situation have opted to purchase a mobile home which tend to be more affordable but may not have the resale value of a stick built home when its time to sell. Another option may be to buy a stick built home and your student could have roomates to offset mortgage and utility cost. Please note however that only (3) non-related individuals are allowed to live in the dwelling per the city of Ames code. So, there are some options. I would be happy to assist you in finding housing in a price range that makes sense for your situation. Just give me a call, 515-290-5148. Have a great day!