How to Choose Whether to Live on or Off Campus

College can be the most exciting time of a young person’s life and is often considered the best four years one can experience (or more, depending on the pace).

Still, there are many questions to consider while in college, as well. Is the college of art and sciences the building I want to spend the next four years in? Are joining all of these clubs worth it? And many, many more.

The one that we want to focus on right now is the decision to live either on or off campus when presented with the choice. For many freshmen, the choice has already been made for them. Either by the university or their parents that inform them that living in a dormitory is mandatory for the first year of college.

Here are some things to consider whether you plan on attending the college of art and sciences or something completely different.

Pros of On-Campus


Unless it is one of the largest campuses in the world, then living in a dormitory will put everything you need to get to within walking distance. It’s especially nice if you work on-campus as well, as the amount of driving will want to be kept to a minimum. The reason for that is most on-campus residents won’t have immediate access to their cars. When you think about it, do you want to be wasting a tank of gas and rushing to your class at the college of art and sciences only to find out it has been canceled?


Splitting bills with roommates can be a difficult process. It’s easiest when you can pay for everything for yourself at once without having to try and collect from other people over multiple bills.

With no utilities to worry about, the room and board, along with food, will all be paid along with tuition. That kind of consolidation saves a lot of time and hassle, which is important when you have many other things to worry about.

Social Life

When living in a dorm, you are bound to make many new friends. Not only do you have dozens of students your age living on the same floor as you, but many different hall meetings and clubs will ensure that students interact regularly and create new lifelong friendships.

Cons of On-Campus

Low Privacy

When being stressed out or just wanting some alone time, it can be hard in a dorm. With multiple roommates and neighbors that constantly seek your attention, getting just five minutes to yourself can seem like a reward. Over the course of a year, the stress from not having alone time can build up, especially around exam time.


It’s difficult to get in touch with your studies when all of the other previously mentioned people are always around, seemingly. With something to do at all times, studying can be the last thing on your mind and affect your grades.

Cramped Space

By the time you have all of your items moved into a dorm room, there can be very little room left to even walk. This is not the same in an apartment where an immensely larger space is provided for you. This type of cramped atmosphere can really cause cabin fever.

Pros of Off-Campus

Independence and Privacy

Being in the apartment gives you a big relief if you have been in a crowded house or dorm for the last year. Some people prefer to stay focused entirely on studies and staying away from large crowds, and there is nothing wrong with that. An apartment can cater to those needs.


Basically your only responsibility outside of school work in a dorm is laundry. There are very few dishes and cleaning to do, but if you are into that kind of thing, then an apartment is best suited for you. There is always going to be a lot of upkeep to do that will keep you busy in down times.

Cons of Off-Campus


Utilities, security deposits, food, cable and internet, this can all add up a lot faster in an apartment compared to a dorm.


There may be some buses that you can take to campus, but it won’t be as easy as walking a couple of blocks to your class when living off-campus.

There are more things to consider when deciding on attending that college of art and sciences or that college of business you’ve had your eyes on since you were a kid. Still, these factors should get you off to a good start.

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