Living Off Campus – Good Idea or Bad Bargain?


Living Off Campus – Good or Bad?

To dorm or not to dorm, that is the question. Some students want to be completely involved in campus life when they attend a university, and others still appreciate the privacy of living away from the dorm and the feeling of independence that comes with that. While there are some definite advantages to living on campus – a sense of camaraderie, lots of opportunity to socialize with fellow students and join in on activities, and easy access to libraries, labs, and other campus resources, it’s expensive. Very expensive. Statistics show that the cost of living off campus can be much lower and may represent a significant savings for the tight budgeted academic. On average, students who live off campus pay around two thousand dollars less than those that live in a dorm. And living off campus also comes with a slew of other benefits:

Independence – Those who have their own housing do not have to follow the same rules as students that live in dormitories, nor are they required to deal with an RA who may be watching their every move.

Privacy – For some there is nothing like the advantage of having their own room, which can mean quieter living conditions. Environment is a major factor when it comes to study, and the average dorm room has at least two or more people in it.

Greater space – The dorm room is usually smaller than a standard bedroom in addition to containing more people.

Financial savings – The cost of living on campus can be as high as tuition itself, and in many cases you are also required to purchase a campus meal plan, which adds to the expense.

Health conditions – If you are living off campus you are probably living in less densely populated conditions, which can be a real advantage during flu season.

Life preparation – When you are living off campus you must deal with managing a budget as well as cooking and cleaning, all things that will prepare you for dealing with life after college.

Less distractions – Living in the dorm in many cases can be a situation of constant partying, distracting you from more important things like studying. Having the privacy of off campus living can help you to focus and not be constantly sidetracked.

Healthier eating – Living off campus can be a real advantage for those who are conscious of the need to eat better and are willing to make the effort. Preparing your own meals allows you to eat what you decide is best for you.

Parking, no problem! – If you own a car, you will not have to deal with looking for parking in most cases. Off campus housing usually offers ample parking spaces.

Roommate – When you live off campus you have more control over who your roommate is and you are less likely to get stuck with someone you can’t stand.

Again, one definite advantage of off campus living is that it costs less. The cost of campus living has increased by 13% over the past several years, or about $1000 for the last five years. The average yearly cost for on campus room and board is $11,571 versus $9,669 for those living off campus, and this dynamic is the case for virtually all universities. But if you decide to make this choice it is important to start looking for housing as early as possible. Look for places that include appliances such as a washing machine and dryer, and offer easy access to campus by bike or car.

Good hunting!