When you go to college away from home, you have two choices for housing: living in a dorm and off-campus student housing. While living in a dorm has some benefits, dorm life may not be your idea of a good living situation. You may prefer having more privacy and more independence by living off-campus. Here's how student housing generally works although each apartment complex has its own way of operating.
You Only Pay For Your Room
Student apartments are like most other apartments in that there is a kitchen, living room, and multiple bedrooms. However, the bedrooms often have locks so you need a key to enter, and you only pay rent on your bedroom.
This differs from how rent works in a regular apartment. If you live in an apartment with a roommate and they move out, you have to pay their share of the rent until you get a new roommate.
However, if roommates move out of a student apartment, your rent stays the same since you're only responsible for your share no matter how many other students come and go.
This makes it easy on your finances knowing you won't get stuck with a double rent payment when you have a low-paying job or you're living on student loans.
Your Apartment May Come Furnished
You might need to supply your own cooking supplies, dishes, and electronics, but student housing often comes furnished. This saves on the expense of buying furniture and having to move or store it if you want to move at the end of the school year.
You Might Be Allowed To Sublet
Since students often move frequently, some student living complexes allow you to sublet. If you need to move out in the middle of the school year, you might not get out of your lease unless you can find someone to sublet your apartment.
This has to be done through official means through the apartment office so you're off the hook for future payments. Since students are always looking for places to live near the college, it may be easy to find someone to sublet with a little advertising.
You Might Be Provided With Shuttle Service
Student housing is usually independent of control by the college since the complex isn't owned by the school. However, the complex may partner with the school to provide things like shuttle transportation to the campus and campus-related activities.
If you won't have a car when you go to college, be sure to look for student housing on a convenient bus line, within walking distance, or one that is serviced by the college shuttle bus.