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3 Types of College Housing: Which Is Right for You?



Not all campus housing is created equal, but there are some distinct advantages (and disadvantages) to each type. Which one is right for you depends entirely on your needs as a student . . . and as a roommate.


Dorms are what you probably picture when you think about living on campus: bunk beds, band posters, and shower caddies. While dorms offer the most “typical” college experience for new students, they come with some pretty big drawbacks, too.


  • Low price. This is usually the most affordable option
  • On campus. You’re already close to your classes.
  • Community-focused. It’s easy to make friends; just walk to the nearest open door and introduce yourself.
  • Never dull. There are plenty of activities and events to take part in


  • Small. Dorms are often cramped.
  • More noise. Can be loud and crowded.
  • Little privacy. You might want to invest in a pair of shower shoes: you could be sharing a bathroom with your entire floor.



Some schools are getting away from the “dorm life” and are beginning to offer apartment-style student housing. These are a good middle ground between living in a dorm and trying to make your way in an apartment off campus.


  • Larger living spaces. Stretch your legs.
  • On or close to campus. Class is always just a short walk away.
  • Community-focused.
  • More privacy. You’re less likely to share a bathroom with a lot of people.


  • Higher price. More privacy than the dorms, but higher rent, too.
  • Can still be loud, especially during campus events



Though some colleges require incoming freshmen to live on campus for at least their first year, many students choose to find housing off-campus.


  • Most independence.
  • Most privacy. Tired of roommates? It’s much easier to find a room to yourself off campus.
  • Variety of locations. Do you want to live closer to school or to work? The decision is yours.


  • Potentially the most expensive option.Besides the costs for more space, you’re also responsible for utilities—electric, water, cable, Internet, etc.
  • All on you.
  • Farther from campus. It’s your call how close you are, but you could end up being miles away from campus.

With all that said, it’s usually a good idea to take advantage of living on campus for at least your first year. This will give you a chance to immerse yourself in campus life and make new friends. Plus, you’ll always be within walking distance of the library for those times when you suddenly remember you have a paper due at 8 a.m. the next day.

The original article was published here.

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