5 Things to Consider When Picking Your Student Housing (U.S.)
Guess what! You got into a college! You wrote that admissions essay, you got accepted, and now you get to go. Go, you!
As you probably know, the process isn’t over. Next, you’ll have to make decisions about where to live, which classes to take, which extracurricular activities to join, and so on and so forth. But first things first!
One of the things you will have to decide that may seem daunting is where you are going to live while you go to college. Don’t worry - that’s what we are here for!
Here’s 5 things to consider when you’re picking the best student housing for you:
1. Know Your Budget
Before you start looking for student housing, you have to start figuring out your budget. To do this, you’ll have to see how much money you have saved up, as well as how much money you’ll be making. After you’ve done this, you also will have to consider the other expenses you will have aside from rent. For example, if you have a car, roughly how much money do you spend on gas a month? That’s an expense you’ll have to factor in. So is tuition, utilities, the fee for your parking spot, and any other bills you might have.
2. Know What You’re Paying For
When you’re looking at student housing, make sure you know exactly what is included in the price. Sure, a room might look cheap, but is it also super tiny? When figuring out if you are being offered a good price or not, look at factors like how many housemates you will be sharing the apartment with, if you get your own bathroom, if the apartment is in a convenient location, and so on.
Something to keep in mind: we wish this wasn’t true, but there are many landlords who will charge extra on a property they know is likely to be rented by students. They think students won’t know how much their housing should cost. Don’t be one of these students!
Of course, not every landlord does this. However, it's important to be mindful that some do.
3. Location, location, location
Make sure you can easily get to class from where you decide to live. For example, if you don’t have a car, you should pick student housing that is within walking distance to school and other places you go a lot, like your job or the grocery store.
Before you select your student housing, make a list of the places that you will need to go a lot, and make sure that most of them are relatively easy to get to from your housing.
Something to keep in mind: no matter which student housing you pick, you will be living there for at least a semester. Being practical about your decision now will save you lots of time later!
4. Know Who the Roommates Are
Although lots of student housing offer private rooms, lots of them are shared as well. Sometimes, you’ll be moving into student housing that already has people living there. Other times, you will have to find the roommates yourself. In either case, before you all start living together, ask the roommates for their social media accounts so you can get a sense of what kind of person they are.
If possible, meet up with your potential roommates before you move in. Invite them to study with you or grab a cup of coffee. You’ll be living with these people for at least a whole semester, so do yourself a favor and suss out the situation first!
5. Get a Feel of the Neighborhood Before You Commit
Before you officially decide on your student housing, visit the neighborhood and take a walk around to see if you can imagine living there. Does it seem like a safe place? If you’ll have classes at night and you’ll be walking home, will you be comfortable walking around there at nighttime? These are all important factors to take into consideration.