While living on campus during the school year is convenient, it may not be the most cost effective. Oftentimes off campus housing has much more to offer than a small dorm room. Below you will find a list of amenities to look for when browsing apartments that rest just outside of the college or university you plan to attend.


Is the apartment for rent fully-furnished? Since dorm rooms come with beds and dressers, you must figure furnishings into the price of the rental to see if it makes off campus living worthwhile. Fortunately, many apartment buildings that surround college campuses realize this fact and supply their flats with everything from beds to coffee tables. If you’re lucky, you may even locate one with flatware and utensils.


In addition to a furnished apartment, you’ll want to scope out a place that has a kitchen. Since you’ll be farther away from the school and its cafeteria, you’ll need to make most of your meals at home. Of course, preparing meals and snacks in your apartment is much more cost effective than eating out on a daily basis, including in a university food court.

Utilities Included

When you make arrangements to live in a dorm room, you get the use of the room and all of the utilities associated with it for one price. Off campus housing may or may not give you a monthly quote that includes utilities. Make sure you inquire about this so you can get an accurate total price comparison of a dorm room verses an apartment nearby. Also keep in mind that it will be easier for a college student to pay one bill, verses three or four.

Wireless Internet Service

Does the apartment complex supply wireless Internet service for its residents, or does it have a cafe where the Internet can be accessed for free? Perhaps there’s a shared lobby where young adults can sit down with a laptop and connect. College students benefit from complimentary Internet by being able to do research for scholastic papers, checking on their student accounts, and emailing home to check in with family and friends.

Fitness Facility

Working out at least 30 minutes per day is the best way to stay healthy and alert, so keep your eyes open for an apartment building that has its own fitness gym for residents to use regularly. After you locate one, inquire as to the hours the facility will be open. Will this schedule gel with your class schedule? Also, you’ll want to know what equipment is present in the gym. Are there weights? Do they have mats for stretching? Will you be able to choose between a treadmill and an elliptical bike for cardiovascular workouts? Perhaps they have a swimming pool for exercise that is easy on the joints.

The more amenities the off campus housing facility offers, the less traveling you will have to do to squeeze in such things as meals, exercise, and class research. Once you locate the perfect place at the right price, you can begin your college career with a positive outlook.