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In Many Markets, it is Cheaper to Live Off Campus

Live Off Campus

Digested from Trulia

In more than half of the markets surveyed, it was an average of $219 to live off campus. But there are caveats.

In an effort to find the best value in student housing, Trulia combed through campus housing websites in 48 college towns across the country. It compared what students pay for on-campus housing with what they would pay if they split a two-bedroom apartment with a roommate in the off-campus market.

In 28 of the 48 markets, renting off-campus housing was the same price or cheaper with average savings of $219 per month for students who had a roommate. But there was a caveat.

“Meals are included in the housing options in eight of these 28 places, adding to the expense,” Felipe Chacón wrote for Trulia

Removing these schools from consideration brings the average monthly savings in off-campus housing down to $146. In the 20 markets where off-campus housing was cheaper, the average monthly savings is $221.

But if you figure in other expenses, things start to even out, depending on the market.

“With some exceptions, living off campus with a roommate offers a cost advantage,” Chacón “But when that advantage is slender, it’s likely to melt away entirely after factoring in the cost of utilities, transportation to school and lost time.”

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