A Guide to University Housing

A Guide to University Housing
  • Opening Intro -

    Were you aware that university housing consists of many options that you must consider?

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Were you aware that university housing consists of many options that you must consider?

Student housing is something that every student must think about, especially those that will be attending one far from home. However, many students are unaware that they’ll have access to several options to give them more control over where they’ll reside.

While you can live in a dorm for as long as you’re a student, you can also get a house or apartment. If you know what the pros and cons are of each option, you can make a better decision that’ll help you achieve your goals.

Keep on reading to learn everything you need to know about university housing!

Living On Campus

When it comes to student housing, the most common route that students take is living on campus. This often involves staying in dorms that the university provides.

Living on campus comes with several benefits, but it also comes with various downsides. While most students start with on-campus housing, many eventually move off-campus.

Here are the benefits and downsides of on-campus living:

  • Benefits

    The main benefit of on-campus student housing is that you can save money and time. Living in a dorm room can cost much less than an apartment or house because all utilities are provided.

    Dorms costs are also included in tuition, so you can pay for most things with student loans without running into problems. Since the dorms are located near a university’s main areas, you can get to class within minutes.

    Depending on the university, a variety of dorm options may be available. For example, some universities may offer dorms to accommodate two people, four people, etc. The more people there are living in a dorm, the larger the rooms will be.

    These options can make students feel more comfortable because they’ll have more space to do things. However, you may have to spend more to get a larger dorm with more features, such as a private restroom.

  • Downsides

    Unlike off-campus student housing, living on campus doesn’t provide much privacy to students. When living in a dorm, students can expect to be around others at all times.

    You may also find on-campus student housing expensive considering what you get. Small living spaces, little to no privacy, limited food options, and more can make dorms not worth the money.

    You also can’t bring much to the university because of limited storage space. While everyone should experience student dorms, they won’t help you relieve school-related stress in the long-term.

Living Off-Campus

People often go to off-campus locations shortly after getting into a university. When renting a dorm, you won’t be locked into a contract, so you can get out as soon as the semester ends.

Living off-campus is crucial if you want to have an easier time focusing on school. It provides a plethora of benefits that many students seek when looking for housing. Off-campus student housing also comes with few downsides.

These are the pros and cons of living off-campus:

  • Benefits

    Living off-campus gives students much more privacy than on-campus dorms. When living off-campus, you’ll have an entire house or apartment to yourself, unless you decide to split rent with someone else.

    Not only can you reap the benefits that regular homeowners have, but you can also excel in school because of the extra privacy. It’s also easier to do off-campus activities because you don’t need to travel out of the university’s area.

    When living off-campus, you’ll gain a plethora of experience that’ll help you transition into another home after you graduate. You’ll get a better understanding of how to live alone and you can build credit by paying off bills.

  • Downsides

    There aren’t many downsides that make living off-campus a poor decision. The most important downside is that you’ll most likely have to sign a year-long lease, so you’ll be locked into the property for a long time.

    Living off-campus will also force you to regularly travel to campus whenever you have a class or need to meet someone.

    If you haven’t already established friends, you’ll have a harder time socializing because you won’t constantly be around other students. While you can meet them in class, many people form groups that can be hard to enter unless you see them regularly.

    Renting a place off-campus is more cost-effective than on-campus student housing. However, you may have to pay a security deposit and the first month of rent before moving in. If you don’t already have the money, you may be forced to get a loan or use credit to afford to move.

How to Find Properties

Finding on-campus property doesn’t require any work because the university will assign you a dorm. However, those that want to live off-campus will need to go through several steps to find a property.

Fortunately, the process doesn’t take long. Providing you have access to the internet, you can find a plethora of properties within minutes.

  • Look Online

    To start finding properties, go online and search for them. Because you’re a student, you can search for something like, "student housing near me." Specifying that you’re a student will make it easier to find locations that offer discounts.

    Not only will you find private renters that offer student housing options, but you’ll also find websites that offer them. Many sites that offer student housing will have virtual tours that can help you decide if a place is worth pursuing.

    For example, you can check out the floor plans of Aggie Square Apartments. You’ll see that the virtual tours have high-quality images that give you a better idea of what it’s like to walk through a property.

  • Visit Local Neighborhoods

    If you’d like to find academic accommodation in a specific area, you can find them online. However, many people prefer visiting local neighborhoods because they can find a location and visit its surrounding area.

    Visiting local neighborhoods will require a lot of driving, but you can find properties quickly providing that you’re near the campus. When you find one that’s available, reach out to the owner as soon as possible.

    Be ready to get regularly told that a place isn’t available. Students are constantly seeking off-campus properties, so you’ll need to make yourself stand out from others.

  • Meet with Various Owners

    Although off-campus academic accommodation can take some time to find, you should never move into the first location you see. Instead, you should meet with various owners so you can expand your options.

    Meeting with owners will ensure that you can visit apartments and houses in-person. Virtual tours can provide a lot of info, but you won’t know whether a place is good unless you visit it.

    When you meet with an owner, you’ll also get a better idea of who you’re dealing with. Keep in mind that you’ll have to sign a lease, so you must find someone you’re comfortable with.

Tips for Renters

As a student, you’ll be expected to complete all schoolwork while also having a personal life. When living off-campus, you can do several things to help you make everything simpler.

  • Save Money

    Saving money is crucial when living off-campus because you’ll need to do it for the rest of your life. Instead of being someone that relies on loans, saving money will ensure you can afford unexpected expenses.

    Saving money will also help you move if you want to get a better place. You’ll be able to afford the security deposit while also having enough to purchase other things.

  • Clean Often

    If you want to have an easier time focusing, you should keep your property clean. Having a clean home will help you focus because you won’t see constant reminders that you need to get things done.

    When you have a clean home, you’ll also feel good about yourself. Channel this energy and use it to excel in school while juggling it with your personal life.

Start Looking for University Housing Today

Now that you’ve read this article, you have a better idea of what it’s like to get student accommodation. Whether you want to live on campus or off-campus, you shouldn’t have a problem with the transition to student housing.

other related articles of interest:

We encourage everyone to think about what they’ll do for university housing before getting into one. Even if you want to live on campus, think about the type of dorm you want. It’s worth spending the extra money to get a place that offers more privacy.

Check out our other articles to learn more about a variety of topics!

Image Credit: university housing by twenty20.com

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