College students have different housing options. There are two categories, on-campus and off-campus housing, and there are benefits of living on-campus and off that every student should consider.
Today, we’re going over three factors that determine which living arrangement is right for you!
Consider the difference in environments when asking yourself, “Should I live off-campus?”
Living on-campus, students will experience a heavier party culture because every neighbor is a young college student. This differs from living off-campus, where students will cohabitate with people of all ages, including families.
Living on-campus encourages participation in clubs and school activities while living off-campus encourages independent endeavors such as work and internships.
Living on-campus allows students to easily make friends with other students. Living off-campus allows students to make friends with people at different places in life, including those not currently in college.
Living on-campus feels more communal while living off-campus feels secluded and independent. Off-campus students describe the feeling of having one foot in college and the other in “the real world.” Some students also describe off-campus housing as a relief, providing a physical and mental break from school.
On-campus housing also tends to be more restrictive. Some colleges prohibit pets, alcohol, and even candles in their residential buildings. If you cannot comply with any of these restrictions, living off-campus may be a better option.
In general, living off-campus is less expensive than living on campus. The conveniences of living on-campus, including easy access to the cafeteria, library, and gym, are added to the cost of housing per semester.
So, when deciding where to live, ask yourself how often you plan to use these facilities on-campus.
If you plan to use these resources, you might want to pay a little extra and live on-campus to take full advantage of them. Living off-campus and relying on these resources can be annoying and costly if you live beyond walking distance and need to commute.
Differently, if you rely on your own resources for food, study, and exercise, living off-campus can save you a substantial amount of money. This way, you aren’t paying extra for amenities you aren’t using.
To choose the most affordable and convenient housing option for you, know your student behaviors and dependencies.
Location and Transportation
How far you are willing to be from school plays a large part in determining if you should live on-campus or off-campus.
Off campus housing does not have to be far away from your school. It is usually available within a few miles from a university, making commuting to school ideal but not necessary. Because off-campus housing is a broad term, students can live just off of school property or twenty miles away.
Students who regularly travel far from school may be better suited to live off-campus. This includes:
- Students with off-campus jobs
- Students in off-campus internships
- Students who live far away and frequently visit home
- Students with other obligations to travel off-campus frequently
These students should consider their school’s car policy.
Some universities do not permit students living on-campus to bring personal vehicles. This means that students must rely on public transportation or other drivers, which may not be suitable for every student.
Consider These Factors Before Living on-Campus or off-Campus
So, when deciding between living on-campus or off-campus, the choice is not as cut and dry as you’d think. There are lots of factors that go into determining a student’s ideal living arrangement, and these vary between each student.
Head over to the education tab of our homepage for more information about housing, tests, and resources that every student should know!