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Should I Live On or Off Campus?

Think About the Pros and Cons of Both Before Making Any Decision


Group of college students studying in grass
Laurence Mouton/PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections/Getty Images

Living on or off campus can drastically change your college experience. How can you figure out which is best for you? Take a few moments to figure out your needs and what has been most important to your academic success thus far. Then, using the information below, decide what makes the most sense for you based on your individual preferences.

Living On-Campus

  • Stronger sense of community
  • Easier to make connections with people in your housing environment
  • Physically closer to campus than an off-campus apartment
  • Shorter commute time
  • Campuses usually have things going on 24 hours a day
  • Room and board costs can sometimes be more than living off-campus
  • You're constantly surrounded only by students
  • You may feel like you can never "get away"
  • You have to share your bathroom and space with many, many people
  • You are more likely to be required to have a roommate

Living Off-Campus

  • You may not need, or be required to have, a roommate
  • You may have more space
  • The set-up may better support your life and work outside of school (such as having a family or an off-campus job, for example)
  • You don't have to worry about your apartment building closing during summers or breaks
  • If you do need a roommate, you can pick someone other than another college student
  • Longer commute
  • Parking on campus may be an issue (and costly)
  • You may feel disconnected from campus life
  • Costs may be higher (remember to consider utilities, parking, and commuting costs into your budget)
  • An apartment complex may not be as flexible to student needs (like when your loan check is late)

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