You’re ready to make the most out of your college experience, and with that comes deciding on your college living situation. There are benefits to living both on- and off-campus, but which one of these options is best for you? Let’s make your residential decision-making easier with a comparison competition!
Who will emerge victorious in the dorm vs. apartment competition? Read on to find out.
Dorm vs. Apartment: Cost Value
Is it cheaper to live on or off-campus? According to Business Insider’s 2018 college housing comparison, the average college housing cost ranged from $600 to more than $1,000. The price varied due to the university and its location.
Off-campus housing was usually equal to or slightly more expensive than college housing. However, there’s a big difference in their floor space and amenities.
In this analysis, most of those dorms were traditional styles. This means that they’d have community kitchens, shared bathrooms, and very little floor space to call your own.
Meanwhile, the off-campus estimates were for much larger two-bedroom apartments. These have private bathrooms, kitchens, and living rooms that you don’t have to share with a floor full of people.
Even in the cases where off-campus housing is a little more expensive, the apartments consistently give you way more bang for your buck. You can also get a larger apartment and split it with more roommates to make it way cheaper than dorms.
Cost value challenge winner: apartment
Dorm vs. Apartment: The Roommate Situation
The roommate experience can be good or bad depending on who you’re living with and the setup of your rooms. In traditional dorms, you’re typically randomly assigned a roommate or two and have to share one tiny bedroom. If this would be your on-campus option, you’d better hope you get along with your bunkmates or things might get weird.
Apartments give you more flexibility in your choices. Here, you can select your own roommates as well as your floorplan, allowing you to choose who stays with you and how close they’re going to be.
While getting a randomly assigned roommate can sometimes have positive outcomes, we’d prefer to take our chances with people we know (and a little more space between us).
Roommate challenge winner: apartment
Dorm vs. Apartment: Safety
You’ve probably heard from older adults that dorms are safer than apartments. With a resident assistant on call, and sometimes campus security, there is usually someone available to help if an incident arises.
Many apartments, especially those located near college campuses, have security on call to make sure the premises are safe. With smaller complexes and gated communities, the risk for criminal activity is usually minimal. That being said, a recent college report shows that of all of the college crimes that occurred, 56% occurred on campus.
It’s slightly more likely for college crimes to occur on campus, though you should be careful in any community you choose to live in. Wherever you choose to live, you can stay on the safe side by using a campus safety app, which many schools offer to use on and around campus. With these apps, you can track your friends’ location, report safety problems, and let others know you’re safe.
Safety challenge winner: we’ll call this a tie
Dorm vs. Apartment: Style Challenge
When deciding between a dorm or apartment, learning their residential regulations can help you understand how much you can decorate.
Typically, on-campus housing presents more limitations. In most on-campus housing, any decoration that includes flame (e.g., candles and incense) is considered a fire hazard, so even an outdoor jack-o-lantern can become a major code violation. Most college housing also doesn’t permit wall painting, so you’ll have to stick with the color they give you.
While apartment rules vary, their safety regulations rarely restrict decoration choices. You can also usually paint walls as long as they’re painted back to their original colors at the end of the lease. As far as personal style goes, we’re sold on the freedom allowed in off-campus housing.
If you’re searching for off-campus housing in Davis, California, you should check out these stylish apartments: https://www.davisapartmentsforrent.com/almondwood/. We only wish these apartments were available in more cities!
Style challenge winner: apartments
The Winner is Clear
In the apartment vs. dorm competition, the apartment is the evident victor. If you decide that you’d like to live in off-campus housing, you’ll want to start hunting soon. With many students already securing their off-campus housing, your choices may become limited if you don’t act soon.
So what are you waiting for? Optimize your collegiate experience by finding the best apartments near your school today.