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Should You Live On Campus Or Off Campus?

living space inside student housing dark haired woman working on laptop sitting on couch in front of television
Written by CB Community

College is without a doubt, one of the most important parts of life for any dedicated student. When you have decided on the college you will attend after graduating from high-school, you will start pondering the benefits of living on campus, buying fresh new sets of clothes, considering a Netflix subscription, or even scoping the best citrus juicer out there as you vow to live a healthier life. This will be a whole new world filled with new interesting people and exciting perspectives is opening in front of you.

The college years are probably the first time you will be away from your home and completely on your own. This is most likely the first time when you have to look out for yourself and be financially responsible. For starters, you should ask yourself, is living off-campus cheaper, or are there more benefits to living on campus? Your budget is going to be top of mind, so you need to spend your money wisely. The clothes you purchase should be durable enough to last you at least a couple of years. You might figure that Netflix is a non-negotiable, and maybe instead of the most expensive juicer with all the bells and whistles, you should look for a practical, easy to clean juicer.

There are many things to consider when it comes to budgeting for college, but let’s take a closer look at the benefits off and on campus.

Benefits of Living on Campus

At first glance, there are numerous advantages when living on campus. The first and most important of the advantages is the campus community. When you’re living on campus, you’re right at the center of everything. You have a lot more chances of getting involved in campus community activities and develop long-lasting friendships. You will have campus Service Desk Staff ready to help you with a large number of things, from receiving and carrying packages to internet connectivity, cable TV services, and even waste removal. You will have a personal mailbox, laundry facilities, and some housekeeping. And let’s not forget the most popular campus argument of them all, you will be closer to your classes. Being closer to classes can definitely help you streamline your life, and make your life a little more efficient.

But let’s face it, most of the benefits of campus living listed above are not necessarily grounded to the actual campus. Granted, some of them are. But we are pretty sure that you can do a great job collecting your mail, laundering, carrying packages, or contracting an Internet subscription on your own. So maybe it’s time to set the campus aside for a while and consider the alternative as well.

Benefits of Living off Campus

After all of the great benefits from on-campus living we listed above, you might not see a lot of advantages to living off-campus. However, if you will take a closer look, affordable housing off-campus might actually end up being your No. 1 choice. The first major benefit that springs to mind is privacy. Campus dorms are almost always crowded and noisy, and the shared space is at best limited. Whereas, in a single bedroom, you will have all the privacy you need. The second thing to consider is the possibility of bringing in your pets, which is out of the question when living on-campus. Third, you stand far more chances to maintain a healthy daily diet. You are more likely to take the time and cook full-course meals for yourself, in the comfort of your own apartment, rather than those always busy and way too public campus kitchens. But one of the best pros of living in off-campus housing is taking ownership of the home. This is actually your first step into the real world and at the same time, adulthood. Then when college is over, you will already be settled in and fully prepared to be your own boss.


When making this decision, it all comes down to what you are mostly looking to get out of your college years. If you have felt lonely or excluded in high-school, then maybe living on campus might actually help fill a desired need. If you are not yet accustomed to living on your own, roommates and floormates can always come in handy. But if independence is what you thrive for, and that moment when you’re finally in charge and in control of your destiny, then you considering moving off-campus and taking matters into your own hands is the way to go!

For more great college tips, check out the other blogs on College Basics.

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.