Act Early To Benefit from College Residence Options

Act Early To Benefit from College Residence Options
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    There is a noticeable correlation between students who live on campus in the first two years of college and their retention rate.

    The safety and convenience of living at college seem to have a definite effect on student success.


Many colleges require freshmen and sophomores to live in student housing for just this reason.

Whether a student intends to live in the dorms or a student apartment complex, it is important that they and their guardians must review the housing situation prior to taking up residence.

There are several factors to consider.

Safety and Functionality

Depending on your college, campus housing can be quite nice, or it can be dated and run down. Just as you would in any apartment search, you want to check the housing for safety and functionality first. Students or their parents will be paying premium rates for student housing and should not be shy about requiring an acceptable level of upkeep.

Check what you can see first. There should be sturdy locking mechanisms on all doors and windows. Check for leaks around the bathroom and kitchen plumbing.

Make sure that there are no unrepaired holes in the walls and that cabinets and drawers are functional. Test all appliances to assure that they are in working order.

Take the time to check outside the building as well. Is the HVAC system in a healthy condition? Is the area well lit?

Considering how much electricity will be used at any given time in a student building, it is also important that there is an electrical disconnect or at the very least an updated circuit-breaker system for the safety of the students and their devices.


Location is important in any living situation, and that is no different when you are looking at on-campus housing options. Most colleges will have dorms and apartments in various locations around the campus.

Look for a housing option that puts you close to as many of your classes as possible. Science majors will want to be close to the university science building, performing artists will spend a great deal of their time at the campus theater, and athletes will want to be near the sports complex.

After you’ve considered your classes, think about where you will spend most of your time. Will you be eating your meals in the cafeteria? If so, it would be ideal to avoid residence buildings that place you a long distance from your source of meals.

Do you anticipate spending a lot of time in the library? Where are the laundry facilities? It is worth going with a less desirable dorm room or apartment in exchange for the convenience of having your residence central to your college life.


Sharing a dorm or an apartment can be challenging. At some colleges, you may have little choice in your residential assignments, including your roommates. However, many colleges have begun to implement change in this area.

Some colleges do extensive psychological questionnaires to match students with roommates they can get along with; while others will separate their dorms by course of study. Many colleges will allow you to request a particular pairing.

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If your college offers these options, it is important to take action early. Even at the best colleges, latecomers are likely to have the least choices.

In choosing your living companions, look for people that share your interests and personalities. Living with your best friend might sound great, but if you are a neat freak and they are a slob, things can get contentious fast.

Likewise, if you are the studious type and your friend likes to party, your apartment or dorm room can quickly become a place that isn’t conducive to your academic goals.

Living on campus is a great choice, especially for younger students in their first couple of years at college. You will have some options, so make housing a focus early on to take advantage of the choices you are given.

You need your residence to be safe and convenient, and you should share it with like-minded people that will make the experience less challenging.

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Categories: College Living