Mizzou's Further Fall From Grace: Landlords Near Campus Offer Gift Cards, Slashed Rent to Draw Students

Layoffs and funding cuts to follow.

University of Missouri (Mizzou) is continuing to see the fall-out from its alignment with the far-left. As you may know, enrollment numbers have plummeted since the famed Professor Melissa Click "incident" (you might recall how she called "for muscle" in the removal of a student journalist during a demonstration). 

Now, with the school's freshman enrollment numbers at a 20-year low, campus-area landlords are in a frenzy offering gift cards and slash-rate rent to lure prospective students back. The Devil's Lake Journal reports

Landlords eager to lease bedrooms before the semester ended last week were offering gift cards of up to $1,000 or rent reductions worth the same or more to lure renters. They are getting squeezed from two directions – the number of upperclassmen allowed to live off campus will drop by about 1,400 and new buildings a few steps from campus will add almost 700 units to the market.

TwinRock Partners of Newport Beach, Calif., last year purchased the 450-bed Gateway apartments on Buttonwood Drive for $21.6 million and rebranded it the Lyfe at Mizzou. The company is advertising a no-money-down lease, giving away $250 per tenant gift cards and is waiving the $100 application fee. It is offering the same deal at the Row, which has 328 beds in townhouse units.

The offers are intended to match or beat the deals other landlords are offering, said Alexander Phillips, CEO and CIO of TwinRock Partners. Students are waiting before signing leases to see where they can get a better deal and everyone is fighting to fill beds, he said.

“You just have to be aggressive and competitive in this market,” Phillips said.

Fewer students means less tuition revenue. That loss, combined with a 6.7 percent cut in state funding, has campus leaders looking to cut expenses by 12 percent. Layoffs in the Division of Operations will eliminate 20 jobs on July 1 and more are likely. More details about how budget cuts will be implemented are expected at campus forums Monday and Tuesday.

The Columbia Chamber of Commerce will hold a job fair soon to help university employees find work, chamber President Matt McCormick said last week.

“Our board of directors voted last month to work with the university as they figure out budget cuts, layoffs, things like that,” McCormick said.

This fall, Mizzou will host its smallest incoming freshman class "in almost 20 years," reports DLJ, adding that overall enrollment will also decline as much as 6 percent. 

Only 5,484 students will graduate this year. 

While many have argued that Mizzou's decline has naught to do with its recent alignment with far-left activists and causes, we don't believe in coincidences.