Preliminary Considerations

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The decision to live off campus can appear daunting at first, but with careful consideration of the various options available, the process can be completed in a few easy steps. Prior to searching for the perfect off campus residence, here are some helpful questions to consider.

Accommodations

  • What kind of residence (house, townhouse, apartment) do you want and how will this affect the number of people that you are living with? Apartments are safe and close to campus but limit the number of residents and the level of privacy. Houses provide more space but carry higher risks and generally need to be signed much earlier.
  • Will you need to furnish the residence? The initial cost of furniture may outweigh the benefits of cheaper rent at an unfurnished residence.

Roommates

  • How many people do you want to share your space with? More roommates generally means lower rent, but too many can lead to drama and strained group dynamics.
  • Are your lifestyles compatible (cleanliness, study habits, partying and overnight guests)? Remember, good friends don’t always make good roommates!

Location

  • Will you be able to walk, bike, or take the bus to campus or will you need a car? Remember, a walk to campus will feel a lot longer during the winter.
  • Is the neighborhood safe? Visit the area at night to get a feel for the atmosphere. Make sure you do not have to walk through any unlit, unsafe areas to get home from campus. Check crime stats and history for the residence and area.
  • Is the neighborhood conducive to your lifestyle? Get a feel for the types of neighbors you will have. Don’t move into a family neighborhood and plan on having loud, late-night parties.

Living Expenses

  • Will you get a meal plan at school or will you be making all my own food? Cooking is a good life skill but can be time consuming. Consider whether you and your roommates will share food or buy separately.
  • What different utilities will you need (internet, cable, electric, heat, etc.)? Will these bills be included in the rent? If not, the cost of utilities will have to be split among your roommates, and one person will have to put their name on the bills.

Fall Educational Sessions

  • The Office of Housing will host an informational session each fall helping current on-campus students make an informed decision.
  • Click here for this year's information
  • Watch the video from this year's session!