Whether you’re a matriculating high school senior, or a rising sophomore in college, moving to off-campus housing will soon be the natural next step in your university life. There’s a reason why 87 percent of college students nationally live off campus (New York Times): off-campus housing brings with it a series of new freedoms that serve as stepping stones towards adult life. I spoke with one rising senior at Washington University in St. Louis to better capture how the transition off-campus was, and the benefits that came along with it:
“It’s cheaper. It’s so much cheaper…,” says one rising senior at Washington University in St. Louis. He recently signed a lease for a 2-bedroom apartment near the Delmar loop. The rent? Nearly half of what he was paying at WashU when split between two people.
The experience of this particular student is by no means unique. In most conversations, price was the first topic to come up. That comes as no surprise, as most universities upcharge on-campus housing, justified by the amenities they offer. At WashU, for example, on-campus housing ranges from $1,353 to $1,567 per month per person. Rent in the nearby area, meanwhile, costs just $1,058 on average. Finding a roommate can lower your costs even further, as the average 2-bedroom apartment in St. Louis costs just $1,285.
But of course, off-campus living brings more benefits than just prices. For one, an off-campus apartment is something that you can call your own. I don’t mean that literally, but at least for the duration of your lease, you have complete jurisdiction over the apartment you call home; there are no RA’s doing weekend patrols, and no crowded communal bathrooms:
“Moving off-campus brought with it this sense of independence, like what you envisioned college life to be when you were younger. You feel like an adult, especially in the little things; like inviting your friends over to ‘your place’ instead of ‘your room’. And when your friends do come over, you can actually cook for them in your kitchen instead of eating some dining hall food.”
With these new freedoms, though, comes new responsibilities. There won’t be a housekeeping staff cleaning after you, and you’ll have to learn the basics of “adulting”, such as meal planning, paying utilities/rent, and getting transportation to campus. The most daunting part for most, however, is the process of actually finding an off-campus home. That’s the part where EDUrain can step in! From our housing search platform to our scholarship database, we can help you find and fund housing. Check out our other blog on the Resources page to find what you need!