Housing Options for College Students

Amy Latham

After choosing the college they want to go to, students face other decisions to make: classes, sports, and housing. While signing up for classes and activities can be easy, choosing where to live on or off campus can be a hard decision. Students will have to consider expenses, quality, distance from their classes, etc.


  • Home: For students who are wanting to attend a community college in their area or live near a state college, this is the cheapest option. 
    • Pro: You will not have to pay housing, and having food is almost never a worry.
    • Con: You may have excess background noise to deal with while studying or doing homework.
  • Dorm Rooms: Some colleges require students to live on campus for their freshman year, so having a dorm is the simplest option. In a usual dorm comes a bathroom, a kitchen, two beds, two desks, two dressers, and a closet. Instead of a kitchen, some colleges also have a dining hall to eat it that can be included with living expenses.
    • Pro: It can make it easier to find friends and is convenient for those who want to live near their classes.
    • Con: Dorms can be loud and cramped, and it can be hard to get along with your roommate.
  • Off-Campus Apartment: This is a chance for college students to get a feel of what it would be like living on their own as an adult. 
    • Pro: You have more private space with an apartment, and roommate conflicts won’t be as much of a problem.
    • Con: It can be a hassle to commute to school every morning, and transportation can start getting costly if you are commuting far.
  • Sorority/Fraternity:
    • Pro: The space is more open and it can be easier to make friends. You also have the advantage of being on campus without having to live with only one other person throughout the year.
    • Con: While you get 2-6 roommates in a dorm, you will have 20-30 members living inside a house with you. There is also the added stress of having social activities/parties while trying to focus on studying.