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Jan 23, 2017 08:38 AM EST

Thinking of Living Off Campus? Here are Some Things to Consider

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College is often the first time a student gets to live outside the comforts of home. While living in a dorm on campus is a most comfortable and ideal choice for many, it does have some disadvantages that living off-campus does not. As such, living off campus can be a good choice.

Second year Literary Journalism major at the University of California, Irvine, and part-time barista Kaitlin Hurtado, however, noted in an article in Uloop that choosing to live off campus will greatly affect your overall college experience. It might make it better, or it might make it worse, depending on what happens.

To help you decide if living off-campus is for you, here are a few considerations you should make.

The Commute

One of the biggest, if not most time-consuming, factor you should consider is the commute you'll have if you live outside your campus. While living in a dorm on campus means spending a lot less time going to and from the classroom, living off campus means traveling to and from school to your apartment or housing. And that will take time. A car might even be necessary.

The Financial Situation

On-campus housing options are usually far more expensive than off-campus choices. On-campus dorms often come with a meal plan, which is usually expensive: Students can expect to pay between $8,887 to $10,089 for dorming. Off-campus options can be way cheaper, to as low as $500 a month for rent, food and utilities excluded.

The Responsibility

On campus residents are monitored by housing staff, and are given housing guidelines they need to adhere to. Off campus residents, on the other hand, have it easier than on campus residents, although the risk of danger and of poor discipline due to a lighter enforcement of guidelines (if any). In addition, on campus residents have the added benefit of having housing staff help mediate in cases of issues between roommates, while off campus living does not.

More than that, living outside the campus does not guarantee that students will have a community that encourages them to study well. The farther from the campus your housing gets, the less likely your community will be conducive to your education.

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