Pros and Cons to Living Off-Campus

I went to college thinking I would live in the dorms for a year, and then move off campus after my Freshman year into an apartment where I could have my own room. I did end up moving off campus and into an apartment, but it was 6 months before I initially thought. I ended up moving off campus after my first semester, and it’s probably one of the best things I have ever done. So, I thought I would write an article to list the pros and cons of living off campus to help you decide whether or not it’s the right move for you.



You can choose to live in an apartment that allows pets 

Personally, I grew up with cats, so moving into the dorms and having no animals was pretty hard. Living off campus can give you the freedom to have an animal. This helped with my stress and anxiety during the school year. So, if you too need a furry friend to calm you during stressful times, off campus will be your best option.

Most of the time, living off campus can save you a lot of money

If you get financial aid to cover your dorm costs, then that’s a different story. However, if you do not get financial aid for your dorm, like myself, then moving off campus will save you money in the long run.

You get to experience actual adulting

Getting groceries, paying for utilities, making your own food, etc. are things that you will have to do eventually, so you may as well get a start on it early before you graduate and don't know how to make a casserole.

You are free to have a party or a gathering without the fear of getting caught with *substances*

It’s college. Kids underage are going to drink. The dorms at my school were strict, so after 3 reports, you lost your security deposit. Most apartment complexes are honestly just looking for your money. They don't care if you have a party as long as you clean up afterwards.


Inconvenient transportation

If you have a car, you most likely will have to pay for parking, find a spot and then walk to campus in time for class

If you don't have a car, you will have to walk, bike, or take public transportation to school. This can take a lot more time.

Late for Class

When you live on campus, you can wake up 30 minutes before class and still make it. But when you live off campus, you have to wake up at least an hour before your class to allow time to find a parking spot and walk to class.

Once you sign a lease, it’s almost impossible to break it

If you live in dorms, you can terminate your contract if you decide to leave your university. However, in an apartment, you either have to find a subleaser, pay a huge fine -o0 or continue to pay rent until your lease ends. So before you sign a lease, make sure you are 100% certain that you will stay at your university.

Management can either be great or terrible

I lucked out with good management at my apartment building, but some are absolutely terrible. So look for reviews online and ask people that currently live there before you sign anything. Also, landlords can raise prices without warning if it’s stated in the lease. So make sure you look carefully and read ALL the paperwork.


Overall, the choice is yours. But I would definitely consider the different options before you make your final decision!