University Apartments: Save Money On Student Housing
Room and board consist a significant chunk of your total college costs. How you choose your university apartments will have a massive bearing on the total cost of your college education. According to recent College Board estimates, the average price of tuition and fees for the 2017–2018 school year was $34,740 at private colleges; $9,970 for state residents at public colleges, and $25,620 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.
The average student housing costs with board; a whooping $10,800!
Student Loan Debt Figures
Am sure you've heard the figures on student loan debt. It's 2018 and Americans are burdened with student loan debt more than ever. According to recent estimates, Americans owe over 1.48 trillion in student loan debt. The average graduate of the class of 2016 owes roughly $37,172 in student loans. Here's a breakdown at some of those student loan numbers:
- 44.2 million Americans with student loan debt
- $1.48 trillion in total U.S. student loan debt
- Student loan delinquency rate of 11.2% (90+ days delinquent or in default)
So, how do you get out of the debt trap and still have the best time during your college years? Pick the right university apartments or better yet, start your landlord journey early by buying a condo.
Benefits of Living Off Campus
There are countless benefits of living off campus. For one, you don't have to put with nosy RA's, and you still enjoy your college time with some sense of freedom, privacy, and decency.
Some of the other benefits of choosing favorable off-campus university apartments include:
- You get to save money - As already observed, dorms and other student housing are spectacularly expensive.
- You learn responsibility - You can start your adulting life early on. Living off-campus means you have to deal with rent, landlords, managing your time, finances and a host of other things. You also learn how to cook, trust me, that's one skill you'll need to survive later in life.
- Fewer rules - Compared to on-campus student housing, living off-campus comes with fewer regulations. You can entertain your friends even in the wee hours of the night!
- Fun - This is especially true if you live with friends and share your university apartment. It's even better if your own the condo during your college days and still shares the rent with your friends.
- Lots of space - You'll probably have your bedroom instead of having to share everything. Don't even get me started on the storage!
So how do you save on the university apartments? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Tips to Save Money on University Apartments
- Choose off-campus housing and split the costs. You can live with your friends or buy a condo and rent part of it to your friends. The downside to living off-campus is that most financial aid packages don't cover off-campus housing. If you are receiving financial aid, please check the housing guidelines.
- Opt for older buildings. These may not have all the latest amenities, but they tend to be cheaper than newer university apartment blocks. If you don't mind the minor inconveniences, you can shave off some dollars from your student housing.
- Invest in energy-efficient gadgets. By reducing your energy bills, you can cut off a massive chunk of your housing costs. The initial cost might be high but the cost savings over a four year period will be worth it.
- Save with roommates. You can reduce your college student housing costs by living with roommates and splitting the costs. Living with roommates should save you some money whether you live on-campus or off-campus. The more the roommates, the cheaper your overall bill.
- Live with your parents. Hey, it's an option especially if you want to avoid the crippling student loan debts. Your parents will be more accommodative, and you can still keep living in your old bedroom. Even if they charge you, the rent will be much cheaper compared with some of the on-campus housing options.
- Become a Resident Assistant. They oversee dorm rooms in exchange for free accommodation. You need to keep your grades up to qualify, participate in various campus activities and apply to the residence life department at your college. You won't be the most popular with most fellow students, but you'll save quite some dough on-campus housing.
- Enroll in an online college. You can live anywhere you want and still get your education, minus all the costs. However, this options isn't for everyone. You need dedication and focus to keep up with school work while working part-time.
- Buy a condo near campus. This might require you to get some help from your parents, but it might be an excellent option to save on university apartments. And you enjoy the full benefits of living off-campus or even living with your friends.
Off-Campus University Apartments - Factors to Keep in Mind
There are things you need to keep in mind if you'll shave off those dollars from your campus housing bill, especially if you'll be living off-campus (and shave off those dollars from your education bill. They include:
- Research. You don't want to end up in a dangerous part of town, especially when you'll need to study late into the nights.
- Check the housing guidelines early on if you are receiving financial aid.
- Start your search as early as possible to minimize the stress and the hustle when the new semester starts.
- Find a cosigner early on. Your landlord might not require having one, yet it's better to go in prepared.
- Save plenty of cash if you plan on living off-campus. There'll be moving costs, security deposits, utilities and a host of other small bills.
Whether you choose to live on-campus or off-campus, you can take steps to save some money on student housing. While living off-campus might save you more, it also comes with its responsibilities. Keep those in mind before you make your choice.