Who we are

Who we are and how this got started…

Karin Mark and Jill McCoy are two caring parents who know first hand just how expensive college can be. Having students in college, they had to make sacrifices so their children could pursue their education. Now they are ushering in a new, cost effective, option of saving money while attending college – a way without sacrifice. At Connect Room and Board, we want your student to pursue a higher education, not a higher debt.

Karin Mark  I have been married for 29 years and currently have three boys in college. My husband and I know all too well about the high cost of college.

While listening to an NPR program about college students – their struggle to pay for room and board, graduating with a mountain of debt, and some who are simply unable to get a higher education because of cost – I began to consider what could make college affordable? 

My husband and I have had wonderful experiences with peer-to-peer sharing economy models. We have used both home sharing and ride sharing programs during our travels, and these positive incidents sparked the idea to create an environment where students and families can share the burden of housing costs with others like them. My sons are off to college, leaving us with empty bedrooms in our home. Why not help other families and share our home with a student attending college near us?

Advanced education not only helps an individual’s success, it benefits our society as a whole. The more educated we are as a nation –  through colleges, universities, and vocational schools –  the better our community’s standard of living.

Jill McCoy  I am a mother of four with two currently in college.  I have practiced real estate in the St. Louis area since 2001, and I teach real estate informational classes at several colleges in the St Louis area. For many years, my husband and I have hosted exchange students. We’ve also hosted foster children, and have been very grateful for the life enriching experience.

When Karin approached me with the idea to create a resource for college students to find lower priced housing options, I immediately saw the potential to help so many young adults afford college. College is expensive, and coming up with the money to afford it is stressful for both students and their parents.

I have been fortunate to have traveled extensively. Often times, I have used hosted lodging, so I can only imagine the possibility to eliminate thousands of dollars of debt and gain a great experience for all involved.

US News and World Report estimates that living expenses

will determine college affordability.

US News and World Report “Estimate Living Expenses to Determine College Affordability” by Farran Powell

1111 First Street Bedroom