As college students across the country head back to campus this month, many of them will be moving off-campus and into their own apartments. While most parents might not be crazy about their kids moving into an apartment, there are a lot of benefits to living off campus.
Living on campus might seem like the easy and more convenient option, but there are a lot of reasons why you should consider moving off campus.
1. It Can Save You Money
There’s a good chance that moving off campus will save you money, especially if you have roommates. If you live alone, you might not be saving anything, but splitting rent with a few roommates will most likely save you some cash. You also won’t have to pay thousands of dollars for a meal plan, either.
Most dorms come with a lengthy list of rules like no pets, no candles, signing in your guests, and adhering to quiet hours. Not only do these rules exist, but you’ll also probably have a resident assistant (RA) making sure you follow them.
There are no RA’s in an off-campus apartment. You might be able to bring your pets, you can have guests anytime you want, and there won’t be strict quiet hours.
3. More Choices
There are lots of choices for apartments and the amount of space you want. You can get apartments with individual bedrooms and bathrooms for everyone, you might be able to choose from different layouts, and pick where you want the apartment to be (maybe you want to be close to an elevator or maybe you want to be on the first floor).
You typically don’t get that many choices when it comes to on-campus housing.
Apartment complexes might have more amenities available to you than your college dorm. More living space gives you more opportunities for privacy, it’s probably much quieter than your dorm, and it might include some amenities like a pool or fitness center right in your apartment building.
Another thing that living off campus often comes with is parking that is free (or much less than parking on campus) and lets you park much closer to where you live than you would live you lived on campus.
5. More Space
Living off campus usually means you’ll have more space. Most apartments will have a full kitchen, a real living room, your own bedroom, and more storage. Along with more space, you might also get your own washer and dryer.
6. It Makes You More Responsible
When you live in a dorm, you usually pay for it once, at the beginning of the year or semester, and then you don’t have to pay another housing bill all year. While this might be convenient, it’s not really teaching you how to be independent, to pay bills, and manage your money.
When you live off campus, you likely will have to pay some or all of your utilities, cable, and Internet. Paying bills helps you to be responsible and build your credit and signing a lease will give you a rental history, which is often necessary when you graduate, get a real job, and want to move into a non-college apartment.
Not only will you need to pay bills, but you’ll also have to grocery shop and cook for yourself too. If you live on campus, most schools make you have a meal plan. There are no meal plans in off-campus housing!
Budgeting for groceries, shopping for them, and cooking is another great way to be more responsible and learn how to live in the real world.
7. You Can Stay All Year Round
Most dorms or on-campus housing closes during breaks, so you have to leave during Christmas break, spring break, and the summer. With off-campus housing, you can rent for the entire year. You don’t have to leave for the summer or breaks and can come and go as you please.
This is especially ideal if you live far away and have a job where you go to school. Having the ability to have your own place to stay during breaks is helpful to students with jobs.
A Few Tips
Start early to minimize your stress and make sure you find a place that is within your budget and one that you really love. When it comes time to sign the lease, remember too that you might need a parent or other adult to co-sign your lease.
What are You Waiting For?
Living off campus sounds like a great choice, right? Whether you’re looking for an apartment all on your own or with roommates, MyRentHero has options for you.