Compare These 4 Off-Campus Housing Options for Students on a Budget

off campus housing

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  • While you’re in college, every dollar counts.

    As if tuition weren’t expensive enough on its own, you also have to find a way to pay for housing.

    The good news is that if you look hard enough, you can find plenty of affordable off-campus housing options that will allow you to save some money for a rainy-day fund.

    Rental Home

    For the ultimate in flexibility and independence, a rental home is the best way to go. If you can find some roommates to share the cost of renting the home, this can be an affordable option.

    The biggest challenge is finding someone who is willing to rent their home for only a few months at a time. In a typical college town, though, there are usually some good options, as long as you apply early enough. Waiting until just before the school year starts, however, can leave you with little to no options in terms of renting out a home.


    Another quality off-campus housing option is an apartment. Apartments tend to be more affordable than a rental house and often have more flexible leasing terms.

    Many apartment complexes are built close to local college campuses, making it easy to walk or bike to and from classes.

    Apartment complexes also often come with community amenities such as pools, parks, gyms, onsite laundry, and will typically have a bus stop or similar public transportation options located nearby.

    This makes it easier for students who don’t have a car to get to class, work, and get groceries on a regular basis.

    Get a Room

    With multiple home rental services available online, you can now find listings for individual rooms in homes, apartments, or condos in the area without having to gather personal acquaintances to join in covering the cost.

    Renting a single room offers the advantages of living off-campus while providing a much lower price tag than renting out an entire apartment or house. The downside, however, is that you may be sharing a house or apartment with people that you don’t know and may not like, so it’s important to meet your roommates before signing a lease.

    Live at Home

    While it doesn’t have the "cool" factor of some other options, living at home could be the most economical option of all and is becoming increasingly common among new students.

    other valuable tips:

    Even if you give your parents some money toward rent and food, you’ll likely still come out ahead compared to living on your own. A key consideration of staying with your parents is the location of your parents’ home.

    If it’s too far away from campus, you may end up spending a lot in fuel over the course of your time at college. Living with your parents can also make it difficult to really gain a sense of independent living, so use this option only when necessary to avoid major debt.

    Living off-campus during college requires a lot of focus and planning. It’s easy to spend all of your time hanging out with your friends and playing video games when you don’t have the visual reminders of college buildings to keep you on track.

    If you have what it takes, though, living off-campus can be a great way to build a good foundation for responsible independent living in the future.

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