College Student Apartments Ideas for Every Budget & Lifestyle

For college students, finding an affordable place to live can be a challenge. Living in the dorms requires paying thousands of dollars to the college you’re attending – and depending on what city you’re in, finding college student apartments may be difficult, as well.

At Addition Financial, we work closely with our members to help them manage their money – and that includes providing advice on how much to spend on housing. When it comes to finding a college apartment, there are several options open to you.

#1: Living with Parents, Family, or Friends

The first option you have is to stay with someone you know. If you’re attending school close to home, you can save a lot of money by living with your parents. Of course, you won’t have the same freedom you would if you were living on campus, but there are other benefits to consider.

If you want the option of staying with someone you know, you may still need to pay rent or contribute something toward the utility bills. It’s important to be open about what your responsibilities will be – and to put them in writing – so there are no misunderstandings.

#2: Renting a Room

It can be expensive to rent an apartment by yourself, but that doesn’t mean that you must be resigned to living on campus. Instead, why not check Craigslist or other online listings to see if you can rent a room? It’s not uncommon to find affordable rooms for rent in college towns.

Of course, you should expect to pay more for a room with its own bathroom. The competition can be fierce if you’re attending college in a city with a lot of students. It may be helpful to think about what you can tolerate and what you can’t to narrow down your choices.

#3: Renting a Solo Apartment

There are some significant benefits to living by yourself when you’re in college. You can be sure that you’ll have privacy when you need it – and yet you’ll still have the freedom to invite guests to your apartment when you want to.

The downside of renting an apartment by yourself is that you’ll be the person who’s responsible for rent and utilities. Sometimes, landlords who rent to students will include utilities in the rent. Make sure you know what your financial responsibilities will be before you sign on the dotted line.

#4: Group Apartments

If you don’t want to live alone, or can’t afford to, another option is to search for a large student apartment that you can share with a group of friends or classmates. Renting as a group means that you may pay less in rent than you would if you were renting alone.

If you do decide to rent as a group, it’s a good idea to hash out what your responsibilities will be ahead of time. That may include:

  • Deciding whose name will be on the utilities and how you will pay them each month
  • Coming up with a plan for paying the rent (most landlords won’t want a batch of individual checks)
  • Making a schedule to deal with household chores and responsibilities
  • Coming to an agreement about entertaining guests in the apartment

Living with a group can be challenging, which is why it’s important to strive for open communication and honesty before you move in.

The Alumni Approved College Handbook for Incoming Freshmen

#5: Renting a House

If you do plan on renting with a group of friends, another option is to rent a house. Renting a house has some of the same advantages as renting a large apartment. In addition to paying less than you would to rent a studio or one-bedroom apartment, you’ll also have the benefit of amenities like in-house laundry and a yard.

Of course, renting a house comes with many of the same challenges as renting a large apartment. You’ll need to make sure that everybody who lives in the house understands their responsibilities before you move forward.

#6: Living in University Housing

The final option is one that won’t necessarily be less expensive than paying room and board, but offers the benefit of being on campus. University housing tends to offer more space than a typical dorm room. Utilities are often included with your regular room and board.

The main perk to living in university-owned apartments is that you’ll be on campus and have easy access to social activities. It’s common for university housing to host events in the same way that a dorm or fraternity might.

Renting college student apartments can be frustrating. Knowing what your options are can help you find the best match for your budget and personal preferences.

To learn about Addition Financial’s student loans and how they can help you pay for college, please click here.

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