The choice to live on or off-campus can affect the experience you have in college. So how do you decide the right option for you? Think about your needs and wants and consider the most important factors for your academic success. Then pick the option that makes the most sense.

Exploring Your Options

Being on-campus can be more expensive than an apartment. On the other hand, with an apartment, you’ll likely have to pay for food, utilities, gas to get to school, and other expenses. Add up the cost of each option and factor that into your decision. If your parents can’t help you with living expenses, you might need to take out private student loans to help with school expenses. The additional funds from loans can provide you with more options when it comes to choosing a living situation.

Choosing to Live On-Campus

There are benefits to being on-campus. You’ll live with other students, and you just have to walk across campus to get to class on time. Many students find that the community is stronger since they’re surrounded by other students. That’s why it’s often easier to connect with others in the housing environment. You’re all attending the same school, so you’ll immediately have something in common with everyone on your hall. Plus, you’ll be close to support staff and faculty members.

You’ll also be closer to school than if you were in an off-campus rental. You might not need a car while at school since everything you need will already be there. And if you need to get off-campus, you might have a friend with a car who can take you. Having a shorter commute can be beneficial since you just have to walk to a nearby building. Then you don’t have to worry about parking tickets, traffic jams, or public transportation. Plus, you likely won’t be bored, since many colleges have things happening 24/7.

Choosing to Live Off-Campus

It can be freeing to find an apartment of your own. Many dorms have rules, along with resident assistants to enforce them. While some apartment complexes do have rules about quiet hours, you’ll likely still have more independence. It’s a great place to take a break from college life, but you’ll also have more responsibility. If you have the funds, you may not need to have a roommate. But if you do share expenses, you might be able to get a nicer living area. Plus, if you need a roommate, you can choose someone besides a college student, which might increase your chances of finding someone you want to live with.

Even a small apartment can offer more space than a dorm. For some people, being able to prepare homemade food is a perk. Creating several meals at once to grab later in the week can save money while still being convenient. An off-campus setup might help you have a better work-life balance outside school. If you have a job, you might find it easier to live away from school.