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7 Tips for Finding College Housing

student on laptop in library

Packing up and heading off to college is an absolutely thrilling time in a young person’s life. However, with all the fun comes a lot of responsibility. One of the first, and perhaps most important, choices a college student must make is exactly where they want to live.

Here are a few things to consider on your journey to finding college housing.

1. Start With a Budget

determining a budget. How much rent can the student actually afford month-to-month while also maintaining enough funds to pay for tuition, food, and other living expenses? Figuring out a personal housing budget is a wholly unique process for each student.

Students should sit down and map out all monthly expenses either alone or with a loved one to figure out just how much they can afford and go from there.

2. Decide on On-Campus or Off-Campus Housing

After figuring out expenses it’s time to answer another big question: On-campus housing or off? This is a major consideration for many students and can be budget-dependent.

It can also be dependent on what year the student is as many colleges require students to live on campus during their freshman year. But, after that, it’s likely up to students. Each choice has its merits and its pitfalls so weigh each option before deciding.

On-campus Housing

For those who want to live on-campus there are likely a number of options available at their school. This can include residence or dorm halls. Think of these as apartment buildings, but smaller. Some dorms require students to share rooms with another student, and often only come with one bathroom per floor (though there are a lucky few who may be able to snag a private bath).

Dorms often do not come with private kitchens, though they may have a shared space. This often means students will likely also purchase a meal plan, so make factor that in when budgeting.

Beyond dorms, students may also be able to live on campus in fraternity or sorority housing. These homes are typically maintained by private Greek organizations and admittance to the frat or sorority is usually required in order to live in the house. Room styles in Greek housing can vary greatly, along with availability, even as a member.

Note that some fraternity or sorority housing options are considered off-campus housing so you may need to check the housing program at your university.

Older students may also want to look into graduate housing, family housing, or co-op living on their university or college campus.

Off-Campus Housing

Off-campus housing may vary depending on where you go to school. The first option may be to just remain living at home with parents or guardians. Though this may not be the college dream for many, it can be one way to cut expenses in both housing and food.

renters insurance. Those living in a dorm may be covered by their parents’ home or renter insurance policy if you are listed as a dependent. Renters insurance may protect a person’s things if they are lost, damaged, or stolen from the home.

For example, if a pipe bursts while a student is in class and their home is flooded, renters insurance could cover the cost of replacing their damaged items. And, renters insurance could even cover temporary living expenses if their home becomes unlivable.

Paying for Student Housing

No matter where a student lives, things can most certainly get expensive. But, rather than stress about how they’ll pay for their newfound freedom, students should plan instead. And that begins by looking into all their financial options, including a SoFi private student loan.

Students, along with their parents or guardians, can apply for a private student loan with SoFi in minutes and get on their way to finding the perfect housing option for them.

The private student loan from SoFi comes with no origination fees, no late fees, and no insufficient fund fees, which could be used to help a student pay for their living expenses at school.

Note that private student loans aren’t appropriate for every student, and are generally relied on after a student has explored other options including federal student aid and scholarships. Upon graduation, students can choose one of SoFi’s repayment options, paying back the loan on a timeline that works for them.

Learn more about how SoFi Private Student Loans can help you make ends meet in college.

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Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.


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