To live on-campus or to live off-campus…that is the question. In order to make the correct decision, you must first consider what is best for your situation. While to some the answer may seem obvious, it is important to assess how the choice will affect your college experience, both in terms of social and financial situations. We’ve compiled a list of some of the pros and cons that come with living off-campus to help guide you in this decision.
Cons of Living Off-Campus
With everything, there are downsides to living off-campus that must be considered. You will find though, that most of the cons to living off-campus are the same as those to living in an apartment. You’ll have to deal with them at some point so you might as well learn now while you can save money in college. Here are some of the cons to living off-campus.
More of a nuisance than anything, the time it takes to commute to campus is a big factor when deciding where you want to live. Whether you decide it’s best for you to drive or take a bus, it takes planning and organization to ensure that you arrive at your on-campus events on time.
Most off-campus living situations require a deposit, which normally consists of one to two months rent, given to the landlord in advance. If you treat your space with care, you will receive the full amount back before you move out. But, it is not uncommon to have some money taken out for wear and tear. If you want to live off-campus, you should consider if you can afford to pay a security deposit in full and should have a conversation with your roommates about respecting the property to receive as much of your security deposit as possible.
Living off-campus provides a taste of freedom. With that independence, though, comes increased demands and responsibilities. It is up to you to install amenities such as cable and internet.
Most dorms provide certain conveniences such as toilet paper, trash bags, and cleaning supplies. It is important to consider that, along with shopping for groceries, you will have to budget for these items that can be taken for granted while living on-campus.
Additionally, it will be your responsibility to clean and cook for yourself. While some universities offer off-campus meal plans, most people opt to make their own meals. And while you hopefully have the skills to complete these tasks, consider the time and attention they will take.
Choosing to live off-campus means that your college experience is no longer centered around campus. This can feel isolating for some who want to experience as many social events as possible. The likelihood of being able to capitalize on every opportunity will not be possible living off-campus. With proper planning and organizational skills, though, it is possible to attend many social events offered on-campus.
Pros of Living Off-Campus
Now that you’ve considered the negatives, it’s time to look at everything you can gain by living off-campus while in college. Here are some of the pros to living off-campus.
Living off-campus is often the more affordable option. Even with the upfront costs and separate bills, apartments are cheaper than dorm life. Dorms have a fixed cost that often continues to rise annually. Most on-campus housing also requires a meal plan.
Unless you are looking for a luxury apartment, living off-campus is the cheaper option. Save even more money by living with roommates!
When living off-campus, you avoid the move-in process, quiet hours, and random room checks by your RA. Some universities require that students move out for extended periods, such as winter and spring break, which can be very inconvenient for students living out of state. Plus, who wouldn’t want the freedom of having their own room and bathroom! Living off-campus eliminates the rules and restrictions implemented by RAs, roommates, and on-campus housing.
Living off-campus allows you the freedom to create a home. You can decorate your room by hanging up posters and art (just make sure that you check with your landlord first about how they prefer you put items on the wall!). You get to pick out your own furniture, including a bed bigger than the twin XL offered in dorm rooms.
And you can’t forget about year-round housing! Living off-campus allows you to avoid the moving hassle that comes annually with living in a dorm. You can keep your belongings in one place for every part of the year. If you want to live at home in the summer, there is also the option to sublet to other students!
Living off-campus provides a taste of freedom. You gain the independence of living on your own and handling more responsibilities, while also being in close proximity to your college campus. There is freedom to choose your own furniture and cook what you want. There are no rules and regulations enforced by RAs. Living off-campus allows you to get a deeper feeling of independence and adulthood that simply cannot be experienced through dorm life.
Off-Campus Living Options
Now if we’ve convinced you that living off-campus is the way to go, let’s check out some affordable options that are close to college campuses.
Units range from $725-$775
Unit types: 2-bedroom units with patio, garage, or basement
Located Near: University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg
Starboard Villa is a group of townhouses located right across the street from University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg’s satellite campus.
The property includes two-bedroom units with the option of either a garage, basement, or patio. A valet trash service is also available.
Starboard Villa is the perfect location for college students looking for more independence, but still want to be close to campus!
Units range from $730-$755
Unit types: 1-2 bedroom apartments
Located Near: West Virginia University
Pinnacle Heights is a complex on the outskirts of Morgantown, perfect for students attending West Virginia University. It is a lovely community with great views, decks, and ample parking for an easy commute to school.
There are one and two-bedroom apartments available for rent, each of which have private entrances. Some units have in-suite laundry.
Students attending West Virginia University who are looking for off-campus housing should consider Pinnacle Heights as a comfortable, yet affordable option.
Units range from $1250 - $2475
Unit types: Studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom apartments
Located Near: University of Pittsburgh, Point Park University, CCAC, Carlow University, Duquesne University
Stables Lofts is a luxury apartment complex located in Pittsburgh’s North Side neighborhood. It is perfect for students of colleges in Pittsburgh who are looking for a quieter area that is still an easy commute.
Studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom apartments are available for rent at Stables Lofts. The apartment complex is pet friendly, and even has a dog grooming station on the first floor. Other amenities include in-unit laundry, skyline views, bike storage, balconies, and a fitness center.
You can’t live much more luxurious as a college student than at Stables Lofts. Schedule your tour today at https://www.stableslofts.com/.
Newell Heights Apartments
Units range from $850-$1,025
Unit types: 1-3 bedroom apartments
Located Near: University at Buffalo, SUNY Erie
Newell Heights Apartments is a complex conveniently located in Tonawanda, New York. The property is perfect for college students at University at Buffalo or SUNY Erie looking for a quiet and private environment off-campus.
1, 2, and 3-bedroom apartments are available for rent at Newell Heights. Each unit includes a spacious bathroom, stove, and refrigerator. Amenities at the property include on-site laundry, off-street parking, well-kept courtyards, and basements with large available storage space. And, the complex is cat-friendly!
Newell Heights is a great option for students in the area who are looking for an off-campus living experience that has the option of commuting and living with roommates. Call a Birgo Realty leasing agent to schedule a tour: (716) 317-6488
If any of these apartments interest you, or you want to get a better look at some other options from Birgo Realty, check out our available apartments here.
There is no correct answer to whether or not you should live off campus. Clearly there are many positives and negatives that come with the situation. The decision will truly come down to individual needs and preferences.
But, if you have chosen to live off-campus, Birgo Realty is here to provide you with many affordable and conveniently-located living options.
We wish you the best of luck making your decision!
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