Want to know if you can afford off campus apartment housing? Here’s how many college students live close to class but not in the dorms.
How College Students Afford Off-Campus Housing
If you are getting ready to go off to college to get a degree and open up your future, you already know this isn’t going to be cheap. Of course, the first major expense that you’ll need to address is the tuition you’ll have to pay every year until you graduate. But other costs, which can often be just as significant, are things like living expenses.
Finding a place to live, and then paying for that place and the food you’ll need to eat, as well as other living expenses, isn’t going to be cheap. In many cases, it’s not all that unusual for living costs like rent to spiral up to nearly the equivalent of the yearly tuition. So what about off-campus apartment housing? Can this work for you? Will it save you money?
There are SO many great benefits to living off-campus.
- How about peace and quiet?
- Pet friendly apartment neighborhoods?
- Added storage space.
- Neighborhood amenities.
- Did we mention peace and quiet?
So let’s take a closer look at how to do it:
You do have options concerning what you’re willing to pay. Whatever degree you’re pursuing, the tuition for the courses required is pretty much a fixed cost, so you’ll have to work around that. But housing is a lot more flexible. You’ve got plenty of options for where you want to live, but does it make more sense to live on school grounds or seek off-campus apartment housing?
Here’s where you have to start looking at your budget. You need to allocate how much money you receive—or earn from a job—every month and divide it by three. If you’ve got more secure prospects, you can also look at how much you get for the entire year, and divide that by 40. Whatever amount you arrive at is your recommended ceiling for paying rent, you should not try to go over this, and should, instead, be looking at ways to pay even less.
Be sure to factor in the additional expenses that often come with off-campus apartment housing. If you don’t take these into account, your budget can be a lot higher than you might have initially estimated. Are you prepared to pay for your own utilities? If an apartment is unfurnished, what furniture will you need to secure for yourself? Some apartment neighborhoods like Redwood Living offer appliance rentals such as laundry so you don’t have to purchase your own. These and other living expenses must be entered into your equations to see how much you’re really paying to live off-campus.
Off Campus Housing Roommates
An oldie, but a goodie. Where two heads are better than one, so are two paychecks for rent. Depending on your personal inclinations, you may be looking forward to having a roommate, especially if it’s someone you already know, or this may be more than you’re willing to take on.
But one of the easiest ways to dramatically reduce the cost of off-campus apartment housing is to share the rent with a roommate. A $1000 apartment might be out of reach, but if it’s $500, with a roommate, suddenly it’s a lot more feasible.
Look Specifically for Student Housing
Keep in mind that some types of off-campus apartment housing may be specifically for students! As long as you’re willing to do the research and legwork, it’s possible to find apartment homes that are in close proximity to your school where you can feel right at home, without sacrificing the college experience. Take advantage of these resources and find your community. Start here.