How to Decide Whether to Live On or Off Campus

Опубликовал Admin
15-09-2020, 03:50
Attending college or university can be incredibly expensive, and high living costs on top of the tuition you are already paying can make paying for school even harder. Some people may be able to save money or find a better living environment by living off-campus, while others prefer to stay on campus. What will you do? This article will help you make that much-needed decision.

Weighing the Options

  1. Think of the possible options. Consider on-campus housing opportunities like dorms, co-ops, fraternity or sorority houses, or university-owned apartments. Know whether you are guaranteed on-campus housing and what kinds of housing are available to you on campus. Then consider off-campus housing like a rented apartment, house, or room. Make a list of these options so that you can consider them further.
  2. Set a budget. Know how much money you can afford to spend on housing. When creating a budget, consider the costs of food, laundry, and furniture as well as the cost of the housing itself.
  3. Think about the advantages and disadvantages of each option. For example, living with your family at home, if you go to school locally, will allow you to benefit from Mom's cooking, but you will miss out on some of the campus experience. A dorm will be right on campus so your commute to class will be almost nothing, but you will not have very much space, you will likely have to share with a roommate, and the atmosphere can feel stifling. Living off-campus will allow you much more freedom and independence, but you will have a much longer commute to class, you will have to cook for yourself, have more living expenses, and you will be farther away from your friends.
    • Make a list of the pros and cons of each option, taking into account important factors like cost, commute, meal plans, and proximity to friends.
  4. Consider all the costs. Which would cost you less? Driving from home costs gas money. But dorms also usually provide extra services a student needs like Internet, utility costs, and some other things. In an apartment, things like this can also be included in the lease, or not. But you might be able to pay for these things in the apartment yourself and have it end up cheaper than the dorm.
  5. Get into details. How far is your house from college, and is there a lot of traffic on the way? What does the dorm provide, and is best for your wallet? Look for apartments around the area, and look at what the landlord wants for rent.
  6. Consider whether you want roommates, and if so, how many. When renting a house or apartment off-campus, sharing it with others can drastically reduce the cost. If living on campus, you will almost definitely have to share a room with at least one other person. If you get along with your roommates, they can make your life much easier and more fun, but living with roommates you do not like can make every day a fight. Talk to friends or meet other people you would be interested in living with.

Making the Final Decision

  1. Inspect your chosen house before making a solid decision. Look for signs of damage (flooding, cracks), make sure you understand any renting policies, have the correct lease (everything the landlord said is on it), know about traffic and transportation options, and make sure the locks work. You will also want to be sure you are on the same page with your roommates about your housing situation, and that you are all looking forward to living together.
  2. Listen to warning signs and trust your gut. If you are not sure about an apartment or about an individual you might be living with, ask yourself why. This place will be your home, so you want to be comfortable and safe. Make sure you are choosing the right option for that, all constraints considered.
  3. Sign that lease or agreement! When you find the option that has what you need, in your budget, that is close to campus as possible, go for it!


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