Best Living Situation for College: Where To Live In College?

We’re going to give you a few tips on how to find where to live in college so you're comfortable and close to everything.

One of the most important decisions you’ll make after deciding which university to attend is where you’re going to live.

The good news is that there are a few different options available and you don’t necessarily have to stay on campus!

In this article, we’re going to give you a few tips on how to find the best living situation for college so you can find out where to live in college.

Where to Live in College?

Living on Campus

Many colleges and universities offer dormitories or residence halls for students to live in. This can be a great option for students who want to be close to classes, social events, and other campus resources. On-campus housing can also offer a sense of community and help students make friends more easily.

What are the benefits of living on campus?

  • Location: You're near everything — food, classes, and everything your college campus has to offer.
  • Productivity: When you're living on campus you are closer to the library and other amenities. Your productivity levels will be higher.
  • Integration: You'll be more in the loop with your college's activities.
  • Food: Meal plans are always available to students who live on campus. Choose from hundreds of dining options and never worry about cooking or grocery shopping. You can also find ways to reduce food costs, if needed.
  • Saving moneyYou can save money by living on campus by not worrying about gas or needing a car.
  • Safety: You will have the safety of campus police, security cameras, roommates and RAs.

The downsides of living on campus include:

The cost of room and board, small rooms, monotony, no kitchen, lack of privacy, overstimulation, inconsiderate residents, and you may not be able to have a car.

Related: Best Side Hustles for Paying Student Loans

Living Off-Campus

Some students choose to live in apartments or houses off-campus, either alone or with roommates. This option can offer more privacy and independence than on-campus housing, but it may also require more responsibility, such as paying rent and utilities.

What are the benefits of living off-campus?

  • Credit establishment: You can begin to build your credit by living off-campus and having your name on a lease.
  • Independence: You'll be able to develop independence since you'll be on your own.
  • Location choice: You can choose wherever you want to stay. Near your favorite restaurant? Do it.
  • Personal space: You can have your own space, and even your own pets if your apartment complex/home allows it.

The downsides of living off-campus include:

Budgeting, safety not guaranteed, out of pocket expense, responsibilities, transportation needs, and farther away.

Fraternity or sorority houses

Joining a fraternity or sorority can provide a social network and sense of community for some students. Many Greek organizations have their own houses where members can live.

What are the benefits of living in a fraternity or sorority houses?

Living in a fraternity or sorority house can have several benefits for college students, including:

  • Sense of community: Fraternity and sorority houses provide a tight-knit community of like-minded individuals who share common values and interests. Living in the same house with other members can help students form deeper connections and foster lifelong friendships.
  • Academic support: Many fraternities and sororities have resources such as study groups and tutoring services to help members succeed academically. Living in the house with other members can also provide a built-in support system for studying and homework.
  • Leadership opportunities: Fraternities and sororities often provide opportunities for members to take on leadership roles within the organization. Living in the house can give members more opportunities to develop leadership skills and gain practical experience managing a group of people.
  • Social activities: Fraternity and sorority houses often host social events such as parties, mixers, and philanthropy events. Living in the house can give members more opportunities to socialize and participate in these events.
  • Financial savings: Living in a fraternity or sorority house can often be more affordable than renting an apartment or dorm room, as the cost is shared among all the members. This can be especially beneficial for students who are on a tight budget.

It's important to note that the benefits of living in a fraternity or sorority house may vary depending on the specific organization and house. It's also important for students to carefully consider the potential drawbacks, such as the possibility of hazing and the time commitment required for membership.

Commuting from home

Some students choose to live at home and commute to college. This can be a good option for students who live close to campus and want to save money on housing costs.

What are the benefits of commuting from home?

Commuting from home, rather than living on campus or in a fraternity/sorority house, can have several benefits for college students, including:

  • Cost savings: Commuting from home can be significantly less expensive than living on campus or in a fraternity/sorority house. Students can save money on housing and meal plans, which can be especially important for those who are on a tight budget.
  • Familiarity and comfort: Commuting from home allows students to live in a familiar environment, which can be comforting and reduce feelings of homesickness. They can also maintain connections with their family and community.
  • Time management: Living at home allows students to have more control over their schedule, as they don't have to worry about living arrangements or meal plans. This can allow them to better manage their time and prioritize their studies and other activities.
  • Reduced distractions: Commuting from home can provide a more quiet and focused environment for studying and completing assignments, compared to living on campus or in a fraternity/sorority house where there may be more distractions and social events.
  • Greater independence: Commuting from home can allow students to develop greater independence and responsibility, as they are responsible for managing their own transportation and schedule.

It's important to note that commuting from home may not be the best option for all students, especially those who want a more immersive college experience or who live far from campus. Additionally, students who commute may miss out on some social and extracurricular opportunities that are available to students who live on campus.

Tips to Remember When Choosing Where to Live in College

Consider the Travel Time

You will obviously want to find a residence that is close to campus.

This could be in walking or biking distance of the college, or its location via public transit makes it a short trip.

When your residence is convenient to campus, it is easier to join in any social events on campus and you’ll have more opportunity to join in on the fun.

If you don’t mind the drive or the commute time, you can live anywhere.

Understand the Planning and Timeframe Required

One of the realities of residences on campus is that you can’t choose where you live.

You also have to be aware of the fact that you have to apply for the residences before the deadline.

If you miss one deadline, you may be able to apply to live in another residence or a privately managed residence.

Last minute changes in the courses you take or which college you end up attending could force you to live in private housing.

Factor in Your Sensitivity to Interruptions and Disruptions

When you live in residences on campus, you’ll be living near a lot of other students.

You will have to deal with noise and mess. You also won’t be able to retreat to the privacy of your room, since you’ll more than likely have a roommate.

You can’t choose who you live with, so you may end up with a loud roommate or someone who constantly brings friends over. If this prevents you from studying or sleeping, private accommodation is a better choice.

Privately run rental halls cost more, but they won’t be as crowded and busy.

Think about Independence and the Price You Pay for It

Living in a private residence means you’ll have to deal with bills and landlords, but you need to know how to handle that to be truly ready for adult life. For some, living in university halls is a compromise between living at home and living completely on your own. You’d have more independence than living at home but not as much as having to do it all yourself.

However, you can find private rentals that are as convenient as residence halls. There is no one perfect option for all students. Determine what matters the most to you, and then select the best option for your situation assuming you can afford it.

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Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs helps you discover clever ways to pay off student loans, make extra money, save money, be resourceful and stay curious. With over 10 years of experience in the financial industry, Brian has developed a reputation for his in-depth knowledge and practical approach to personal finance. He holds a bachelor's degree in Finance and has been recognized by several industry organizations for his contributions to the field. Brian is passionate about educating people about personal finance and has been featured in several national media outlets, including Insider, AOL, Discover, and Yahoo! Finance. With his unique perspective and proven track record, Brian Meiggs is a trusted voice in the world of personal finance.