Weighing the Options: On-Campus Housing vs. Off-Campus Housing

Going away to college usually means living in a dorm. But it doesn’t have to. Whether it’s next month, next semester, or next year, deciding to live on or off campus can be overwhelming. Your home should be your sanctuary. Here are a few tips to help you find yours.

Living On Campus
Living on campus is convenient. You walk to class, take the shuttle, have a furnished room, and save on gas. This option is simple and makes the resources on campus such as the RecPlex and the Alvin Sherman Library more accessible.

“I like living on campus because I don’t have to worry about paying bills on time,” said Jennifer Paul, senior biology student. “I like that my utilities, laundry, cable, and a whole bunch of other stuff are all included.”

Making friends is also easier when you live on campus because of the shared student lounges, swimming pools, and campus events.

Sonal Shah, an international business administration graduate student from India, said that living on campus made it easy for her to connect with other students. “I was really on my own at the beginning, but living on campus I made so many friends,” she said.

The residence halls also feature 24-hour security – making it the choice parents are usually most comfortable with.

However, there are some downsides to living on campus such as the lack of privacy, quirky and odd roommates (if you chose to have one), and less square footage for the price.

Phil Cleland, master’s in business administration student and Cultural Living Center resident, said, “My roommate is a great guy, but he doesn’t do dishes. It’s horrible.”

Living Off Campus
Increased privacy is a reason to live off campus. You can walk around naked, leave the bathroom door open, and leave your dirty dishes in the sink. You can be your own boss.

“I love having my own bathroom and my own bed,” said Michelle Carrion, junior business management student. “When I want to study, I can, without anyone bothering me.”

There are also more housing options when you live off campus. You can live poolside, beachfront, or in a condo downtown. You can make it more than just a place to live. You can make it a place you love coming home to – go ahead, paint the walls purple, invite 100 of your closest friends over, and play beer pong in the living room. The place is yours.

Enrique Zamudio, master’s in business administration stu-dent, said, “You spend most of your time on campus, so I love living off campus. I have barbecues and call over my friends all the time. It’s easy.”

However, there are also some downsides to living off campus such as increased expenses, security concerns, and furnishing the place.

Simara Ayala, master’s in family therapy and a student living off campus, said, “I have a lot of expenses and traveling to and from campus is difficult. I don’t have a car.”

Walk to class or fight for parking. Put up leopard print wallpaper or your Bob Marley poster. Wear your birthday suit or wear your sweat suit. On campus or off campus, the choice is yours.

The Office of Residential Life and Housing can provide additional information about housing options, including a helpful budget planner.

Leave a Reply