Student Housing Guide

There are many students who leave their city for educational purposes who will have so much to worry about other than studies, out of which housing is main. So here is an article that acts as a guide for you all to make the right decision regarding housing scenarios based on your preferences.

Updated by Sreelekha R K on 16th March 2020

There are many students who leave their city or even country for educational purposes will have so much to worry about than just studies. Housing is one of them which is not really a difficult task in today’s situation. Colleges are providing different options for students and are also assisting them to find both on and off-campus housing which is affordable.

Freshman and sophomores usually make a choice to live on campus, either in dorms or greek housing whereas upperclassmen mostly choose to live off-campus, either apartment or houses. There are many factors that will affect where you choose to live and it is important to analyze your options with more care as you will be staying there for more time. This article can be considered as a guide for you all to make the right decision regarding housing scenarios based on your preferences.


Living On-Campus

Around 2.55 million students choose to live on campus for their own various reasons. But there are many advantages to it which will be further discussed but before that let us know some major types of on-campus student living.

Advantages of Living On-Campus

  • First and foremost is that the financial aid might cover the cost of board and room. 

  • These make it simpler for you to socialize and mingle with your roommates and help you be friends with them.

  • College classes and other meetups will be within a walkable distance, so you do not have to worry about transportation facilities and its cost. 

  • For all of you will have access to study groups and other resources that are required for education.   

  • Housekeepers maintain a common area and there are many of these which have security personnel to safeguard you.


Disadvantages of Living On-Campus

  • Living on campus is comparatively expensive. The average cost of living will be about $10000 for public colleges and $11500 for private universities. 

  • It might be difficult for you to focus on studies while you are in the room as there will be some or other chaos in there.

  • Privacy is something every one of you wants but in these rooms, it might be a bit difficult to have such a private life. 

  • A few dorms will be very small which might make you feel uncomfortable and also there are common bathrooms that may not be okay for everyone. 


Dormitories

A dormitory is a large bedroom where more than two students share their room space. It is commonly called as dorms. Most of the student’s first priority will be to stay in dorms. A few dorms have private bathrooms in each room and others will be having a common one on a single floor.


Student Housing Cooperative

These are called co-ops, are owned and maintained by students. Living in this type of housing facility is less expensive compared to other types since you do not have to pay for maintenance and also the expenses are shared by every one of them who stays in it.   


Greek Life

It is a community of students divided into fraternities for men and sororities for women. Approximately, there are 9 million of them in the US. These are the organizations that have national charters and are supervised by a Greek Life office at each college. 


Living Off-Campus

On-campus life is not for everyone. There are many students wants to explore something new and also to their individuality which absolutely makes sense. Here are a few factors that you have to consider in order to choose the right place for you before signing any lease or making any official agreement.


Type of Housing

It is important to be sure about the type of living that you are choosing is either a house or an apartment. Houses are larger and you will have the option of living with friends or other students if you need help to pay for the rent.

If you want to live alone without any disturbances in an apartment, it is better to choose a smaller one so that there will be less cleaning and other maintenance.  


Location

It is important to choose the right neighborhood which can be done on the basis of your preferences with respect to the budget, type of living and also the distance you would want to travel to reach college. It is better to make a list of locations that fits your criteria and visit them once before signing.


Cost

It is necessary for you to think about the rent that is to be paid. Make an expected budget and compare it to the locations you visit.

The cost of living in certain locations will be high, so it is better to analyze all these before making a decision.


Living Conditions

It is the best way to share the room with a person so that you can reduce the housing cost. If you are looking for a larger room, it will be even more helpful so that you will have to pay a lesser share and it also helps you to socialize with others. One of the disadvantages would be privacy. Also, it will be noisy if you are staying with a bunch of people. Here are a few conditions you can check before letting someone be your roommate.

  • Contact your friends once if they are searching for a room. You can ask them to share the room with you. It is a better idea to stay with a friend than with a complete stranger.

  • Do not even think of moving in with a person who has a bad attitude or negative reputation, that may affect the environment you live in.

  • Meet the person once before choosing, so that you will know their habits and behavior. Make sure their preferences match yours.

  • Background check, an important task to be made especially if you are moving in with a stranger because it helps you know them and if they were paying the rents and maintenance on time in the past.


Landlords

Make sure that the landlords are not making an agreement that doesn’t suit your preferences. Most of the time, they will make you sign a lease for 1 year but you can negotiate it to 6 or 8 months, however, they might increase the rent if you are not signing for a year.

If you are not really sure about your plan, it is better to sign for a lesser duration so that you can move out without any problem. Here are a few important questions you need to ask your landlords before signing a lease.

  • What are the area dimensions of the apartment or house?

  • Who will be responsible for taking care of the lawn (if any)?

  • When is the building supervisor available to make repairs?

  • Does the landlord stay closeby?

  • What is the security deposit amount to be paid?

  • Who should you contact if there is an emergency with respect to the house?

  • Who should be contacted if the landlord is not available?

  • Does the landlord accept checks or debit cards for paying rents?


Advantages of Living Off-Campus

  • You get to choose your roommate so that you can have your privacy.

  • There will be no rules for you. You can set up your own rules and lead a life according to your wishes.

  • You do not have to eat in the campus cafeteria every day. It is a way to attain the experience of living on your own. 


Disadvantages of Living Off-Campus

  • You may have to sign a lease for a year and also to pay utility bills.

  • You will have to travel more often in order to reach out to your professors or library or to the college on a daily basis. 

  • It may be difficult to make friends in the school since you will not be staying in college for too long.

  • Rental scams. Be aware of these scams as you might end up being cheated by certain agencies. Make sure you are not one of them.