3 Ways Living in an Off-Campus Apartment Is More Affordable
Are you a college student trying to decide if it’s time to move into an off-campus apartment? Living in the dorms is great, but it might be costing you more money than you planned for, and it might be time to go out on your own.
While dorm life may seem like the more affordable option, did you know that you might actually save money by living off-campus? Don’t let the university advertisements fool you!
Here are 3 reasons that living off-campus could be the more affordable option.
1. No Meal Plans
Your dorm probably comes with some kind of meal plan, right? Did you know that many of these meal plans aren’t cost-effective?
Many meal plans don’t allow you to carry over money or meals that you didn’t use during the year. This means that you end up spending money on food that you didn’t even get to eat.
Universities also don’t always have healthy meal options. It’s common for new college students to gain the “freshman fifteen” because of all of the unhealthy and easily available foods on campus.
When you live off-campus, you could buy a food plan from the university if you choose to, but you don’t have to. You can buy your own groceries, and if you’re good at budgeting, you’re able to spend far less for more (and healthier) food.
2. Split Rent and Bills
It’s true that sometimes the rent for an apartment off-campus can be higher than the “rent” for dorm rooms. That said, you may not have a dorm room all to yourself. You’re paying those high fees to share a literal room with another person who you may or may not get to choose.
Some universities offer single-person dorms or dorms with multiple rooms, but you still pay those high fees.
While living off-campus might result in higher rent, you can get a roommate to share the cost, bringing it far below what you would be spending while living in a cramped dorm.
3. No Excess Fees
Have you ever looked at your university fees broken down? While some of them are clearly related to room and board and education, other ones may seem unusual. You may be able to get rid of some of these excess fees (depending on the fee structure) by moving into off campus housing.
For example, some universities include fees for using their recreation centers when you live in a dorm even if you’re never there to use them. Others may include a parking fee with your dorm fee even if you don’t have a car.
If you live nearby, parking may not be an issue.
Check the list of fees that are associated with your university dorms and see which ones you could get rid of by changing your housing situation.
Is an Off-Campus Apartment Right for You?
After your freshman year, it might be time to move from your dorm into an off-campus apartment. Whether you’re tired of long commutes from home or cramped dorm rooms, moving into an apartment is a great step towards independence and the possibility of lower costs.
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