Campus Questions: Is It Cheaper to Live on or off Campus?

A recent survey found that 60% of public university students and 46% of private university students live off campus.

Living in off campus housing comes with a number of benefits. You have more control over where you live, what your living situation looks like, and who you live with.

The question is, does it cost more or less to live in an off campus rental? For many students, cost is the ultimate deciding factor in the debate between on and off campus housing.

Read on to find out more about which costs more: living on campus or living off campus.

Factors That Can Make Off Campus Housing Less Expensive

When you decide to live on campus, you typically don’t have much say when it comes to pricing (or which dorm you can live in). At some schools, living on campus comes with the same pricetag whether you’re in a newer dorm with modern amenities or an older dorm. 

Living off campus gives you more control over your housing. You can pick from different price ranges and different types of housing. You can often consider lowering the cost of living by adding a roommate or housemate to your lease. 

Plus, living off campus can allow you to decide what additional university fees you want to take on. For example, you may be required to maintain a meal plan when living on campus. Living off campus often gives you the choice between paying for a meal plan or cooking your own meals, which tends to be more cost-effective.

Factors That May Keep You On Campus

Some students may find that living on campus is the best option for their budget. Let’s talk about why that may be the case.

If you are going to school on a full or partial scholarship, you may have to live on campus to receive funding. Most of the time, tuition will cost more than housing (regardless of where you live), and keeping the scholarship is the better financial choice.

The overall cost of housing in your city will also play a role. Most towns and cities with universities provide a wide range of affordable housing units for students. However, if this is not the case, the cost of dorm living may be lower than off campus options.

Ultimately, most students will be able to find off campus housing that is more affordable than dorm living. To make sure this is the case, do some research before you commit to one or the other.

Find the Best Housing For You

Living off campus is desirable for a lot of students. It can give you more freedom, more options, and an overall better quality of life. For many students, living off campus will also come with lower costs, making it a wise financial choice.

Looking for ways to amp up the entertainment in your new digs this semester? Curious about the latest news outside of your college town? Take a look around for more helpful content that will keep you in the know. 

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