If you're a new college student, you may be wondering how to find affordable and convenient housing. Whether you're just starting your search or almost ready to move in, here's everything you need to know about student housing, from on-campus options to off-campus apartments.
Are there different types of student housing?
Yes, there are two main types of student housing: on-campus housing and off-campus.
- On-campus. The school typically manages on-campus student housing. The dormitories are located near other campus buildings and classrooms, making it easier to get to class, but it may be more expensive than off-campus housing.
- Off-campus. Off-campus student housing is usually privately owned and located further from campus. While off-campus apartments can be a more affordable option, you'll need to factor in the cost of transportation to and from class.
What are the benefits of on-campus housing?
There are some advantages to living on campus, even if it's more expensive.
- Convenience. One big benefit is the convenience of being close to your classes. If you have an early morning or late night class, you won't have to worry about commuting.
- Social life. Another perk of on-campus living is the social atmosphere. You'll be surrounded by other students, which can make it easier to make friends and get involved in campus life.
- Rental term. Because the university owns on-campus housing, they coordinate the length of the rental term with the academic calendar, so you won't have to worry about paying for housing over summer break when you do not need it.
What are the benefits of off-campus housing?
Off-campus student housing has a few advantages of its own.
- Price. The biggest benefit of off-campus housing is usually the price. Because you're not paying for the convenience of being on campus, you can often find more affordable options.
- Kitchen. If you're off campus, you'll likely have access to a kitchen. This can be a big money-saver since you won't have to eat out all the time.
- Privacy. Off-campus living also offers more privacy than on-campus options. If you're looking for a quiet place to study or need your own space, an off-campus apartment may be a better fit.
It should be noted that many, but not all, off-campus student housing options require a 12-month lease, regardless if you live there or not during the summer months.
Is student housing only for first-year students?
It depends. At most colleges and universities, student housing is available to all college students, regardless of year. However, first-year students may have priority for on-campus housing. At other universities, however, space may be at a premium, and student housing may not be available for upper-level students.
Whether you choose to stay on-campus or off, there are plenty of options for student housing. Consider your needs and budget to find the best fit for you.