Student Housing vs. Regular Apartments: An Essential Guide



It’s common knowledge that off-campus housing can offer a greater degree of independence, privacy, and responsibility than a typical dorm room. With this type of living, you can set your own pace, eat whatever you want, feel liberated, and enjoy convenience. Off-campus housing allows you to live pain- and stress-free while still having fun in college. 

However, after you’ve decided to live off-campus, you must determine whether you’d want to reside in off-campus student housing or a typical rental apartment. 

This article will help you learn more about the two alternatives, including their benefits and drawbacks, to assist you in making a decision that works best for you. Hopefully, in the end, you’ll be able to choose based on your preferences and what you believe would benefit your college life. 

What Exactly Is Student Housing?  

Student housing, as its name suggests, is a type of housing that’s specifically designed for students. They’re typically managed and owned by private organizations or businesses that may or may not be linked with a specific school. 

Residents enjoy the benefits of living there. A few BYUI student housing facilities, for example, provide excellent amenities such as expansive living rooms, garbage pick-up services, extra storage, multiple sinks and bathrooms, and laundry services. 

Living in off-campus student housing can be a liberating experience. It provides privacy, freedom, space, and a respite from college life. However, it frequently comes with increased responsibility and expenses.  

Here’s a glance at the benefits and drawbacks of living in student housing: 

Pros Of Student Housing 

 – Privacy: Off-campus student housing provides more privacy than on-campus living. Since you can live alone or with a roommate, you’ll have more opportunities to focus on your studies. 
 – Freedom: When you live off-campus, you’re not bound by the same regulations and time limits that most campus dorms impose. You’ll feel more liberated and in charge of your daily life. 
 – Space: Student housing offers far larger spaces than your average dorm room. If you have one or two roommates, you’ll each have a room and share the common areas. 
 – Location Options: Since you live off-campus, you aren’t tied down to the physical boundaries of your university. You have the freedom to select a location close to your university, your workplace, your colleagues, or your preferred neighborhood and food place. 

Cons Of Student Housing 

 – Transportation: If you reside in off-campus student housing, you’ll probably need a vehicle or access to public transit to get to class. If you choose a student housing facility that’s too far from your university, public transportation may need to be more dependable to bring you to class on time. Additionally, if you drive to campus, you’ll need to obtain a parking card and struggle with finding parking spots. 
 – Expenses: Regarding your financial commitment, off-campus student housing requires paying rent, amenities, and renter’s insurance on top of your school tuition. You might also need to pass a credit check or get a co-signer to prove your capacity to pay. Additionally, you’ll need to make a security deposit and sign a lease agreement. These expenses may mount up quickly. 
 – Lack Of Community: You must be constantly surrounded by students, instructors, and support staff from your university to feel like you’re a part of the university community. However, this may not be possible if you rent student housing with your schoolmates.  
 – Lease Duration: Most conventional off-campus student housing options include a 12-month lease requirement. Typically, academic semesters at universities span the months of August through May. If you don’t take classes in the summer, you’ll have to live in your place for the whole year or find a co-signer to cover your lease. 

What Are Regular Apartments?  

Standard apartments are the popular rental unit type typically found in apartment complexes. These accommodations provide the essentials for human habitation, including a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living area. 

Though they might range in size and features, all micro apartments serve as private residences for their occupants. Urban dwellers frequently choose to rent an apartment as their primary residence.  

There are several benefits and drawbacks to living in an apartment when you’re a student. Have a look at the list outlined below. 

Pros Of Renting A Regular Apartment  

 – No Maintenance: Since the landlord or owner is in charge of all maintenance, including fixing water leaks and maintaining the place, you don’t need to fret about maintaining the apartment or taking care of the landscape. 
 – Spaciousness: An apartment is like a palace compared to a college dorm. The walls are usually farther apart than arm’s length, and the closet can fit many clothes. By renting an apartment, you can have a space for more than just the essentials, allowing you to relax and feel comfortable. 
 – Affordability: One of the primary reasons some students opt for apartment living is its lower cost. Apartment rentals often have very reasonable monthly rates compared to home mortgages. Smaller flats also have reduced utility costs and fewer maintenance needs. The smaller the apartment, the fewer pieces of furniture will be needed. 

Cons Of Regular Apartment Rentals 

 – Reduced Storage Spaces: Having fewer square feet mean having less room to store your possessions. The closet and cupboard space available in an apartment is limited. They also lack features like attics and spacious walk-in closets that you may find in a typical single-family home. An apartment may not be ideal if you have a lot of stuff. 
 – Responsibility: You’re accountable for taking care of your apartment since you rented it. You’re responsible for keeping the place clean, paying the utilities, and cooking your meals. No magic button will make the toilet spotless. 
  Proximity To Neighbors: Depending on who you have as a next-door neighbor, it can be difficult to focus on your studies due to the constant noise and interruptions. Your day will likely be punctuated by the comings and goings of the folks who live next to and across the hall from you. If you’re moving into an apartment, you might have to get used to a great deal of background noise. 
 – Rules And Restrictions: Apartment complexes often have their own rules and regulations. For example, the common areas, mailboxes, and the maximum number of overnight visitors may have laws and restrictions. Since each apartment complex has its own set of rules and regulations, be sure you have a firm grasp of the terms before signing a lease. 

Aspects To Consider When Deciding Where To Live  

Still confused? Although you’re the biggest judge of what sort of housing would fit you, the following can lend a hand so that you can make a good choice. Consider the details and variations that matter to you before making a final choice. The biggest factors are: 

1. Location 

If you can, choose a place that’s close to your university. Living close to your institution could inspire you to study because of its convenient location. This can be very crucial if you have any downtime in between periods. Location won’t be an issue unless you’re willing to commute long distances daily.  

Also, think about whether you would be better off living in the hustle and bustle of the city or in the quieter atmosphere of the suburbs. 

2. Lifestyle 

Are you the kind of person who thrives in a group setting, or do you prefer to be alone? Your response to that question should have a significant influence on the type of lodging that you pick. 

3. A Reliable And Fast Internet Connection 

Having a fast and dependable internet connection is essential for college students. You may accomplish your research tasks or papers on time with an internet connection. It would also be beneficial for contacting your family back home. 

4. Your Budget 

Budget plays a significant role in determining the type of lodging you intend to choose, given the variety of alternatives. Before making a choice, you should give careful consideration to this aspect. 

5. Commitment 

If you decide to live in a shared space, it’s important to consider who you’d be comfortable living with and choose a suitable place to stay for yourself. Changing residences in the middle of your semester might be a significant hassle if you still need to plan. 

6. Security 

Spend some time investigating the safety of the place you want to rent before agreeing to a contract and putting down money. 

You’ll leave most of your belongings when you go to school. This includes your laptop, money, and other things. Hence, make an effort to inquire about the security and the available surveillance cameras around the area. 

7. Roommates

If you’re renting accommodation with a group, you’ll need to collectively determine which facility to choose and your budget. It’s only fair to select an option that you can all afford rather than leaving a buddy who cannot. 

Final Thoughts 

Living off-campus may be a fulfilling and gratifying experience that enhances your educational experience. Before choosing a place to live, you should consider more than just the living expenses and rent. It would be best if you also consider your needs, preferences, accessibility to campus, length of lease, roommates, and safety.  

And remember, always go with your instincts! Don’t second-guess yourself; if anything doesn’t feel right or you don’t trust the homeowner, believe your instincts. A lot of luck in choosing your ideal lodging!

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