There are a variety of places and ways to live when away at school. College campuses and campus towns often offer numerous living situations to fit a variety of personal styles and preferences. Finding the right spot may depend upon your budget, your ability or inclination to live with and around others, and how your studies may be affected by a particular living situation.


Maybe the most common living option of students heading off to college is a dormitory. Dormitories may be considered the cruise ships of college living. Often they provide an “all inclusive” style living environment in which food is provided, utilities are included, and many other amenities are found all in this one central location. This often makes the dorm the first residence of many students arriving to campus.


The next step from dorm living for some might be moving on to the Greek system. Choose a fraternity or sorority that has a house on or near campus in which to live could be a great option for some people.

Like dorms, certain fraternities and sororities offer that all-inclusive style environment, with food, utilities, and similar amenities all being included in the price of rent. Other times, the fraternities and sororities are more like big houses where one is left largely to fend for his or herself when it comes to preparing food.

Choosing this style of living arrangement could be great for more social creatures, those looking to build a future network of people with whom to associate, or those who want to build or strengthen their leadership skills.


An apartment near campus could meld the worlds of college living and adult living into one. An apartment can provide the privacy and feeling of life in the “real world” paired with a college town environment.

While apartment living can get somewhat pricey depending upon the location, style and size of the apartment, as well as amenities that the apartment community offers and what utilities are or aren’t covered, being able to split costs with a roommate or two could create a more affordable living arrangement.

Rental House

The rental house can get a bad rap at times when it comes to college living, but not all such options make for a poor living option. The rental house, though viewed as the crumbling, ill-maintained, “party house” by some, could be a great way to economize on your college living situation.

Houses, since often offering more space than apartments, could in theory — and if approved by the owner — accommodate more residents. This might allow students to split the cost of items like rent, utilities and food — sometimes between four or five people — greatly diminishing the overall cost to the individual. As for the quality of the rental, it often just depends upon the owner and the previous residents who have lived there.

Room Rental

As a cheaper option to this list, the room rental option might present a more affordable living option. While maybe not as attractive when compared to other living arrangements on this list, renting a room in a house could allow you to save money and still live with and around other people who may be renting in the same house. This could create a dorm or fraternity/sorority style atmosphere — yet with possibly reduced costs (maybe significantly so) when it comes to items like rent and utilities.