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The Housing Decision

The campus area has seen an increase in construction of upscale student apartment complexes in recent years which has led to intense marketing for the new units. In years past, students tended to withhold decisions about housing for the following academic year until spring or summer, but students are now being pressured to sign leases much earlier.

Living off campus is a popular option for students returning to the University for their second year, but it is not the only option. For many students, a natural next step is making the transition from a shared room in a freshman hall to a single room in one of the residence halls that houses older students. Students who currently live in residence halls will receive information and instructions for re-applying for on-campus housing options when they return to campus for spring semester.

Making a commitment to a lease in a neighborhood beyond campus includes more responsibilities than most students have ever undertaken. It establishes a relationship with a landlord and roommates that students cannot simply walk away from. If plans change, and a student decides not to return to school, the lease is still valid. Before students sign a lease, they should take the contract to University Student Legal Services (USLS) in the West Bank Skyway for review, at no charge. USLS also provides renting information and a “Tenant Resource Guide” for students on their website.

The Parent Program also held a Housing Workshop that focused on both on-campus and off-campus lodging options. To view several presentations about your student’s housing opportunities, please visit our website.

Live on or off campus?

Parents and students may want to discuss the following before making a decision about next year’s living arrangements:

  • The overall monthly cost, including rent, food, utilities, parking, and transportation.
  • Are all roommates committed to a full-year contract?
  • Students should not sign a lease unless they have seen and inspected the exact apartment they will rent.
  • The safety of the house or apartment. When they check the condition of a potential home, they should check for fire hazards, working smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors. Windows and doors should be able to be secured. Any assurances or promises by the landlord should be confirmed in writing before signing a lease or paying a deposit.

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