Apartment Living BlogOff-campus Living › Cheapest and Most Expensive Off-Campus Housing Markets

Here’s our line-up of the most and least expensive off-campus housing rents, plus tips and tricks on saving money for students trying to choose a college.

If you’re searching for the right college and want to save money, it’s important to know about the cheapest and most expensive off-campus housing markets unique to each school. Although your choice should ultimately reflect on your career goals and the community you would best fit in with, you want to make sure you don’t go broke in the process. By living off-campus, you could save money as long as you know the facts and consider all options before taking the plunge.

Special Considerations

Something to consider before going through the lists is that some colleges may have different requirements for housing. For example, some colleges might require you to rent from University-approved apartments. Some universities may also provide discounted rates for approved apartments, leading to lower rent costs each month.
You also want to consider the additional costs you will be responsible for paying. Your Internet costs as well as your utility costs will be your responsibility, since you won’t be living in a dorm. You will need to plan for transportation to and from school, so you might want to consider choosing an apartment close to the campus to reduce costs.

Another cost to consider is food. Many colleges offer free or reduced food for students on campus. Living off-campus means you have to pay for your food. Make a food budget and focus on cheaper foods rather than eating out every day. Brown bag lunches are a great idea. You may also consider using coupons and taking advantage of store sales to make sure you’re getting the best prices.

The Colleges

Here are the colleges that ranked the cheapest and the most expensive when it comes to rent. These colleges are located within two miles of campus.

Texas State University at San Marcos – $1,123
Valencia College – $1,225
University of South Florida – $1,166
University of Texas at Arlington – $1,372
University of North Texas at Denton – $1,419

Choosing to live with roommates can help minimize the living costs, so keep that in mind. Another option to help lower your living costs is to live more than two miles away from campus. Oftentimes, apartments will offer lower rental rates the farther away you are. If you have a car and a job for gas, this might be the ideal choice for you.

Below are the most expensive off-campus housing markets in the United States:

University of California, Los Angeles – $5,158
Stanford University – $6,066
Georgetown University – $3,433
George Washington University – $3,417
Michigan State University – $1,715
University of Miami – $3,097
West Chester University of Pennsylvania – $2,292
University of California, Irvine – $4,372
University of California, Berkeley – $4,134
Florida Atlantic University – $2,786
Michigan State University – $1,715
University of Texas at Dallas – $2,133
Boston University – $3,198
University of California, Davis – $2,499
Harvard University – $3,352

Now that you know the price tags involved, you have a better idea of what to expect. Keep in mind you need to consider your unique living situation when choosing your living arrangements. If you are paying for your entire tuition on your own, you obviously need to choose the cheapest possible rental to ensure you can afford all expenses. If you have a job, the location of said job plays a huge role in where you choose to live, as well.

What you can expect to pay for nearby studio apartments or normal apartments depends largely on the location of the campus. Some college towns are just more expensive than others are. It’s important to consider all of your options before jumping in, because you might find yourself in a financial situation you can’t handle. Leases typically last between nine months to a year, so signing one is a huge commitment. Make sure you are financially stable and ready to stick to the terms before signing anything that’s binding.

If this is your first year in college, consider living on campus for the first 12 months. This can help you build lifelong friendships and find a sense of community that you may not find living off campus.

Now that you’re ready to choose where you’re going to be staying for at least the next year, it’s time to learn some organizational tips. Staying organized is essential to success in not only your first year of college, but also every year after. Being sloppy can lead to missing homework assignments and low scores on papers and tests. Organization may take time, but it is more than worth it.

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Amber is the Social Media & Content Manager for For Rent Media Solutions™ and has been with the company since April 2007. In her role, Amber helps execute and optimize a social media strategic plan across multiple channels, as well as manages the company's social media product. This includes blogs, social networks, video sharing sites, and other conversational media. She spends a great deal of time building relationships with consumers, social media influencers, and bloggers to generate awareness of For Rent Media Solutions brand. In her free time, Amber loves running, #hashtags, and DIY projects.

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