Student Housing 101: On-Campus vs. Off-Campus Housing

Student Housing 101: On-Campus vs. Off-Campus Housing

Going away to college is one of the most exciting times of any student’s life! Not only do you get to experience your newfound independence (see ya later, mom and dad), but you also get to meet tons of other students going through the same changes as you. Now, if that’s not a bonding experience, then we don’t know what is!

As a first-time college student, it can be a challenge to navigate your new normal between balancing class, studying, socializing, and sometimes working, too. Trust us, we know it can be a lot.

One of the main concerns college students face is choosing whether to live on-campus vs. off-campus. Each scenario has its pros and cons and we’re here to help you weigh your options and make the decision that’s best for you. So, let’s get to it and take a look at student accommodations on and off-campus, so you can have the best college experience possible.

The Benefits of Living Off-Campus

Sure, there are benefits to living on-campus vs. off-campus, especially for new college students. But if you’re a seasoned pro and already did the on-campus thing, then living off-campus should be your next move!

Living off-campus isn’t what it used to be either. Today, many off-campus student housing options offer everything on-campus living does and more. There are tons of reasons why students should consider living off-campus, so let’s dive in.

More Freedom and Less Structure

One of the biggest perks of living off-campus vs. on-campus is freedom—and isn’t that what every college student really wants? As a college student living off-campus, there’s no such thing as curfews and Resident Assistants (RAs) to tell you what to do. Instead, you can come and go as you please. You make your own rules!

Utilities Are Often Included in Your Monthly Rent

Most students think that living off-campus means that you’ll need to budget your money accordingly for things like rent, groceries, transportation, and more. While budgeting is definitely part of growing up, the good thing about off-campus student housing is that a lot of properties still include things such as Wi-Fi, water, electricity, sewer, trash, on-site security, and more – just do your research before signing a lease.

Not sure where to start? When you book your off-campus student housing with Unilodgers, one of our Student Support Specialists can help you customize your leasing agreement. If you don’t want to stress about paying a handful of different bills for your utilities, just say so. We’ll iron out the details for you and get the contract ready. All you have to do is sign!

You Get More Space

When you live on-campus vs. off-campus, you have to get used to living in tight quarters. In fact, the average dorm room is less than 130 square feet! That’s tiny. When you move into off-campus housing, however, you’re much more likely to have extra space—and lots of it.

Choose From a Variety of Floorplans

Speaking of tiny dorms, most on-campus student housing is limited to just that—tiny, stuffy dorm rooms. When you venture off-campus, you can choose from a variety of different apartment floor plans and configurations. Whether you want to live solo in a private student accommodation or with roomies in a two, three, four, or even five-bedroom apartment, off-campus student housing gives you options!

Many Options Comes Furnished

Don’t head to IKEA just yet. A lot of off-campus apartments offer partially furnished or fully furnished housing, so you don’t necessarily have to purchase a ton of furniture. Just decorate your new home however you like to make it as unique as you. Time to read up on DIY décor tips for your apartment!

Privacy, Please

One of the harder things to adjust to living on-campus vs. off-campus is the lack of privacy (thanks to shared bathrooms, roommates, and community living spaces). When you move off-campus, you get a lot more privacy and can choose whether you live alone or with roommates.

Can You Say ‘Amenities’?

Now more than ever, off-campus student housing options are packed with enviable amenities for students to take advantage of. At Unilodgers, all of our properties come with incredible amenities like state-of-the-art gyms, study spaces, coffee bars, outdoor grills, and resort-style pools. In some cases, our properties even have rooftop terraces, theater rooms, and on-site yoga studios.

Keep It Social

Speaking of amenities like gyms and pools, these spaces make for great opportunities to socialize. Many of the properties Unilodgers works with host monthly and even weekly social events for students like game and movie nights. This makes meeting new friends way easier. Who knows, you might just meet your new bestie when you venture off-campus.

Experience Real-World Responsibility

This is your chance to shine! Show your parents how responsible you can be and gain important life skills as a young adult by handling your monthly bills, keeping your living space tidy, and managing school on a day-to-day basis. Living off-campus helps you get ready for the real world.

The Benefits of Living On-Campus

Let’s be upfront about living on-campus vs. off-campus, especially when you’re a first-year college student: some universities require first-year students to live in student dorms to ease their transition into college life. You may want to check this list to see if your university is one of them.

Living on-campus vs. off-campus can be a good choice for first-time college students who have never lived away from home before and want some structure. For example, students who live in on-campus dorms may need to adhere to things such as Resident Assistant (RA) rules, mandatory study and quiet hours, and set mealtimes. This can feel overbearing for some, but other students might find it a beneficial experience to help them find their groove.

Here are some other benefits to living on-campus:

Living Expenses Are Taken into Account with On-Campus Housing

Many on-campus student housing buildings include the cost of all utilities like water, heat, electricity, Wi-Fi, cable, laundry, meals, parking, and more. Also, instead of paying for accommodations every month, you can pay for everything up front, or with an installment plan – depending on your school.

Don’t Rent a U-Haul, There’s No Need to Purchase Furniture

On-campus vs. off-campus student housing is usually small, but dorms almost always come furnished with a twin bed, desk, chair, and a dresser or armoire. All you need to pack is your clothes, bedding, and décor to personalize your side of the room.

You’re Walking Distance from Class

No car? No problem! When you live on-campus you can roll out of bed and still make it to class on time because you’re so close. So, go on, get those extra ZZZs in.

Making Friends Is a Piece of Cake

There’s never a shortage of people to hang with when you live on-campus since most dorms have rec rooms, movie nights, and other special events to help you meet new friends and neighbors. The most important thing to remember is that everyone is a “new kid” when they first go off to college, so you’re not the only one.

Take Your Pick of the Best Off-Campus Student Apartments with Unilodgers

Now that you know all about living on-campus vs. off-campus, which living situation will you choose? If you do decide to pursue off-campus living, then Unilodgers has your back with properties that are vetted specifically for housing college students.

If you’ll be studying in America, be sure to check out our accommodations in the USA just for students. Or, if you’re one of the many who’ll be going down under this school year, check out our student housing in Australia for awesome options. And finally, if you’re traveling to the UK, then you must browse our student accommodations in the United Kingdom and bookmark your favorites.

Wherever you’ll be studying, let us help you find a bright clean room with great social and study spaces, safe and calm surroundings, and of course, proximity to campus. Cheers to a great school year!

Unilodgers is the world’s leading platform to book student accommodations and serves over 2 million students from over 195 countries every year. We provide students exclusive offers on student housing options and make it easy to book the accommodation that’s the best fit for you.