Are they just here for 1 year, time frame is important. In a down market If you purchased a three bed , two bath condo or home for the students at the end of the four years you would have made money. Here is how this works. If you just rent an apartment there is no deduction if you own it you pay the same amount or close to it, to owna three bedroom 2 bath renting it to the students Were it is a rental you can depreciate it over the four years. If you have an extra student it helps defer some of the other costs. In four years the property has appreciated giving you an off set against the tuition costs. Instead of not getting any tax benefit from renting you get a huge benefit from buying I hope this will help. There are a lot of deals in Marco and close to Edison if that is where they are going.