The Pros and Cons of Living Off-Campus

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“The first thing to do before deciding to live off-campus is to consider how you live and study. Apartment or house living will involve some trade-offs. For example, the money you save by sharing an apartment might be balanced out by the extra money you spend commuting to campus. Here are some things to consider:


  • Living off-campus can be cheaper than university housing.
  • You’ll probably have more independence, freedom, privacy, and space.
  • Private apartments are usually quieter and have fewer distractions, and therefore, are better for studying.
  • Having a rental history will make it easier to get a place after you graduate. Plus, you’ll have “real world” experience.
  • You can make your own meals.
  • No more shared bathrooms (or at least not shared by as many).


  • Living off-campus can actually be more expensive. You’ve got security deposit, first and last month’s rent, utilities, furniture, furnishings, appliances, cleaning supplies, groceries, transportation, etc.
  • You’re on your own for Internet and cable TV connections.
  • You’ll have chores: renters usually spend more time grocery-shopping, preparing meals, cleaning, and commuting than dorm dwellers.
  • You may be more isolated from campus and other students.
  • You’ll probably have more responsibilities and liabilities.
  • For year-long leases, you may need to find someone to sublet your place during the summer.
    Think about what’s important to you and put together your own pros and cons list. You might also want to do a side-by-side comparison of all of the expenses involved with living on- vs. off-campus.”

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