For many people, going away to university or college means moving out of the house for the first time. And you want to make sure that you have a new home that will suit your student life. For some people this means a place where you can study in peace. For others, it will be a place where you can entertain first and study later. In terms of student housing, there are usually three options. You can live on campus in a student residence where you have a room to yourself or that you share with one other person, you can live in an apartment or townhouse owned by the university, or you can live off campus. Whether you decide to live in L Tower and pay rent or live within student housing, each comes with their own advantages and disadvantages. This guide is meant to help you decide which option is right for you.
If you're coming to university from far away than the most convenient choice is definitely going to be living in student housing. You don't have to travel to your university town in the summer months to find a place and the prices are usually quite reasonable. And if you're moving out of your parent's house for the first time you might not be ready to be responsible for utility bills and your meals. Unlike when living on your own, you will usually have your utilities included in the cost and can buy a meal plan to go with your residence fees.
Apartment-style student housing on campus is usually the preferred choice of incoming graduate students and those in their upper years of undergrad. Instead of living in a place like lofts where you will have to commute to campus, you have the convenience of living close to all of your classes while still having some level of privacy beyond just your own room. You will also be able to pay all of your rent at the beginning of each semester and will not have to pay for the summer months if you plan to spend that time living away from your school.
The other option is to pay rent for off campus housing. Many universities have a "student village" around the campus area that offers a number of apartment buildings and houses where the landlords expect to be renting to students. This usually means that they are a little more lenient about noise and people coming to the house, but you still need to respect that if you're living in rentals, for example, that you do not own the space. Sometimes you will be responsible for utilities as well as your rent and could have a reasonably long commute into your classes.
For more mature students, there is the option of looking for homes for sale in your current area or wherever you are studying. But, you should always think about how long you plan on staying in your school's city and if this is really worth the effort and cost.
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