Going away to college for the first time is exciting but may seem a little daunting. One of the biggest choices that you’ll have to consider your first year is where you’re going to live—in on-campus housing or off-campus housing. Weigh the pros and cons of both to help you determine the right choice for you:

On-Campus Housing


  • Convenient—Close proximity to campus makes you within walking distance of your classes, the cafeteria, the library, computer labs, and more.
  • Fixed price—With dorms, your rent, utilities, and meal plan are usually all added together in one payment for you.
  • Social—With lots of people always around the dorms, you can get to know lots of people and have someone around to hang out with at any time.


  • No privacy—Sharing your bedrooms and bathrooms makes it difficult to get any privacy or time to yourself.
  • Minimal space—Dorms tend to be small, forcing you to limit the amount of things that you bring and utilize space efficiently.
  • Hard to focus—The social life can also make it hard to focus, which can affect your grades and overall GPA.

Off-Campus Housing


  • Independence—Dorms tend to have rules that you have to follow, so off-campus housing is less restrictive.
  • Privacy—With most apartments, you can have your own room so you can find a quiet space to hang out and study.
  • Responsibility—You’ll have bills to pay, cleaning to do, shopping to complete, and cooking to enjoy.
  • Rental history—When you move to an apartment, you need to have rental history to get accepted. Off-campus housing can make it easier for you to get an apartment once you graduate and move away.
  • Diverse neighbors—Your neighbors will probably be a mix of students and nonstudents for you to get to know.
  • Year-round option—If you plan on staying for summer classes or working through the year, off-campus housing will allow you to do so.


  • No Meal Plans—Although off-campus housing can be cheaper than on-campus, you need to make a budget and shop around for the right apartment. Plan to pay for meals at restaurants or to buy groceries and cook meals at home.
  • Less social—It can be more difficult to connect with other students and social life when you’re not constantly surrounded by it.

It’s important to make your choice as soon as possible, so you can shop around and reserve your housing. Choose the option that will be the right choice for you to help you have a successful first year at school. If you’re looking for off-campus housing close to Ohio University, consider University Off-Campus Housing as an option.

Wharton Rentals is committed to making the off-campus living experience a positive one for college students in Athens, Ohio.

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