Everything You Need To Know About Finding Affordable Student Housing
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With the average cost of a college education ranging from $11,260 to $41,426 a year, it’s no wonder that today’s college students are looking for ways to cut expenses!
Affordable student housing is a critical factor for students worried about being able to afford their education – but how do you go about finding it? Keep reading to find out.
On-Campus or Off-Campus: Which is a Better Choice?
While dorms are certainly small in size, they’re not cheap! However, if you’re paying for most of your education with scholarships and grants, you’ll need to find out whether you’re allowed to use these funds for off-campus living. If not, this is one obvious reason to consider living on campus.
You’ll also want to consider the other costs beyond rent. For example, dorm rooms typically include your electric, gas, and water expenses. Some also cover your cable and internet costs.
Dorm rooms don’t require a security deposit and usually come with basic furnishings. Living on campus also means you don’t necessarily have to carry the cost of a car. And, if your roommate moves out mid-semester, you won’t end up having to pay their share of the rent.
Rent for off-campus housing is usually much lower, but you’ll have to add these other expenses back in so you can do a fair comparison. Only then can you decide whether it’s better for you to stay in the dorms or find your own place.
Tips for Finding Affordable Student Housing
There are some significant advantages to living off-campus, not the least of which is having more control over your living situation. When you live off-campus you can choose your own roommates and make your own house rules.
If you’re a little bit creative, you can often get a great deal that will make off-campus living much less expensive than a dorm. Here are some tips to help you find your perfect college rental.
1. Search Online
The internet is usually your best bet for finding affordable housing. Take a look at some of the most popular college housing websites including:
- Campus Cribz
- Apartment Guide
- National Shared Housing Resource Center
- Homeshare International USA
- The Cohousing Association of the United States
Some of these resources will be more valuable than others, depending on where your school is located.
2. Ask Your College
Often, your school’s resource center is a great source for information about affordable housing options. They may offer housing boards or a search feature on their website. Sometimes they can also make connections between students who are looking for roommates or seeking subletters.
3. Explore the Town
If it’s your first semester, you’ll want to head over to your college town and do some exploring ahead of time. This will help you make sure you end up in the right neighborhood. Not only can this significantly impact your rent costs, but if you choose an area where most of what you need is walkable, you might cut down on transportation costs as well.
Make the Most of Your College Experience!
Now that you know some of the best ways to find affordable student housing, you can start looking for the perfect place to spend your college days.
Looking for even more great tips to make the most out of your college experience? We’ve got you covered! Browse through more of our blog posts for information about improving your grades, landing a great job, and enjoying the college lifestyle.