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Types of College Housing

Aerial shot of The University of Utah

College life begins with college living arrangements. Through your college education, you’ll likely live in a handful of places. From decorating your first dorm room to making memories with your best friends in an apartment together, college housing can be confusing, but enjoyable all at the same time. There are options for every college student and Collegeboxes is here to help you decide the best option for you.

College Dorm

Moving away from home and living in a dorm allows you to meet new people that you share a floor and dormitory with. Opposed to living at home, dorm life throws you into the mix and makes it easier to get involved in dorm-based activities.

Being on campus also gives you easy access to the amenities built in like the gym, the library, and the cafeteria; all are within a quick walk for your convenience. It’s also great because your schedule isn’t impacted like it would be if you needed to drive and find a parking spot. For those that aren’t early risers and wake up 10 minutes before class, the run from your dorm room is a lot easier than other living other options.

Dorms aren’t exclusive to freshmen either. As an upperclassman, you might grow tired of bad, random roommates, the lack of privacy, and the shared bathrooms that comes as part of dorm life. However, you might be interested in being a resident assistant as a junior or senior. Taking on the duties as a resident assistant demonstrates leadership skills and adds to your resume. You also get an upgraded living space and typically get your own room as a bonus.

There are many pros to living in a dorm. Collegeboxes can make sure all the items you need to decorate your dorm room make it to campus. We provide full service to 350-plus schools with a simplified college moving process as we do the heavy lifting for you. Ship what you want, store what you want – any combination. The process is customized to your needs every step of the way.

How Much Does it Cost to Live on Campus?

One of the downfalls of living on campus is that room and board is one of the most expensive costs of your education. According to CollegeBoard, the average for room and board for those getting their bachelor’s degrees at a public four-year college was $11,060 and $12,640 at private schools in 2021-22. However, if you decide to live in a dorm on campus, there are scholarships dedicated to room and board alone and applying for the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) can help as well.

College Student Apartments

In terms of apartments, schools will offer on-campus apartments or nearly every college town has a plethora of apartment complexes solely for students. Generally, on-campus apartments are still through the university and are essentially upgraded dorm rooms. Instead of a residence hall, on-campus apartments will look vastly like a regular apartment. Unlike a dorm room, these will have private rooms, bathrooms, and a shared living area that includes a kitchen with refrigerator, sink, and dishwasher. Due to the university still owning these properties, you’ll still have a resident assistant and other university employees for your needs like repairs.

Not every university offers on-campus apartments, but nearly every single school will have student apartments nearby. These are not owned and operated by the universities, meaning there’s a bit more freedom if you and your roommates abide by the contract you sign when renting the apartment. Despite the fact you might have a longer commute to class, apartments offer the same, if not better amenities than a dorm. Most include the full-size kitchen with appliances, gyms, pool areas, study areas with printers, all inside your building. The best part? It’s typically less expensive than a dorm.

Renting an apartment also builds your life experience. While you might keep your meal plan, the dining hall isn’t as close as it once was. Cooking will be on you. That’s not the only thing. It’s you and your friends living together, it might become harder to focus on your academics, paying your bills on time, and cleaning your living area. It’s a time to grow up. It also allows you to build a renting history which is needed for future apartments that you might need to live in. Living in an apartment on or off campus is a great option to consider.

Other Off-Campus Student Housing

Apartments aren’t your only option for living off-campus. Student housing includes houses! People that live near college towns will make real estate investments by owning a home for college students to rent on a yearly basis. These might be further away from campus but will help you cut the cost.  

If you get involved in Greek life, living at your chapter’s fraternity or sorority house is an option as well. Although, that isn’t always the correct fit for a lot of people. For some, the option of living at home still exists. Your commute will likely be longer than it would living near campus, but if your parents aren’t charging you rent, you’ll be saving yourself money. The parking pass doesn’t come cheap, but you have to do what is best for you and your college experience.

Wherever you decide to live, Collegeboxes and its dorm room movers can make your move as seamless as possible. We have full-service storage and shipping services for 350-plus schools. There are also services such as Ship to School and Direct Shipping offered for your college moving needs.