7 Reasons to Move Off Campus

Living on campus is often the default when you start college — but most students quickly realize that it’s far from ideal. Typically, staying in a dorm means sharing a small room with a stranger (and other areas of your housing with a large number of students), adhering to strict rules, and being stuck with a meal plan. If you’re wondering whether you should move off campus, the answer is probably yes for a few main reasons.

1. Save Money

Even though you don’t receive much more than a simple room when you live on campus, dorms tend to be much more expensive than renting your own apartment. This is because you’re paying extra to be close to your classes and to receive meals. As a result, though, more of your budget goes to housing and less to enjoying student life. You can find housing to fit virtually any budget when you live off campus. To spend as little as possible, find an apartment where utilities are included and that has many bedrooms to split costs with a large number of roommates.

2. Choose Your Neighbourhood

Proximity to classes does have its advantages, particularly if you’re taking many morning classes. However, there’s often no need to live on campus — you’ll find it’s just as convenient to be a short commute away. The added advantage is that you are able to choose from a variety of neighbourhoods to find somewhere safe and close to the kinds of services you want, whether that’s grocery stores, restaurants, nightlife, or your part-time job.

3. More Freedom

You likely started college with ideas about how much freedom and independence you would have, only to find out that living on campus can often resemble being at your parents’ house. There are many rules to follow, including periods of quiet during the lead-up to exams and perhaps even a curfew. There are far fewer rules when you live off campus — you just need to be respectful of your neighbours and keep the apartment in good condition to avoid losing your security deposit.

4. Great Amenities

College dorms are scarce in terms of amenities. For instance, you usually don’t have more than a mini fridge and a microwave. In off-campus housing, a full-size kitchen is standard. Plus, you’ll share a bathroom with far fewer people. Some buildings even have extra perks, including a gym, study areas, and lounges where you can meet other residents.

5. The Option to Have a Car

It can be difficult to have your own car when you live on campus. Often, there are no reserved spaces, which is a big problem when there’s insufficient parking for everyone. When you live off campus, you may be able to request a space on site or at least find parking nearby.

6. Privacy and Personal Space

Many students find making the adjustment to being around other people almost all the time quite exhausting. Plus, your personal space is extremely limited. Moving off campus will allow you to maintain an active social life, but you can also spend time alone whenever you choose.

7. Stay Over the Summer

It may be more convenient to continue living in your college town over the summer, such as if you want to take summer classes, continue working, or find an internship nearby. You’ll likely need to find off-campus housing if you want to do any of these things, as dorms tend to shut for the summer. In fact, even if you want to spend all or some of your summer at your parents’ home, it will be more comfortable to leave most of your belongings behind to avoid another big move in the fall.

You can find Niagara College student housing at Foundry Lofts. Receive your own bedroom in a spacious suite equipped with stainless steel appliances. In addition, you’ll have access to exclusive amenities, including fitness facilities, a games room, and a movie theatre. Sign a lease now to take advantage of the lowest rates of the year.


How Much Will You Need to Spend on College Supplies?

To work out a budget for your time at college, you need to know how much you’re likely to spend on supplies. Whereas this depends on a variety of factors, including where you’ll be studying, your major, and where you purchase supplies, it is possible to make a reasonably accurate estimate.

What Supplies Will You Need?

Tuition accounts for around one-third of college-related costs, housing about 40 percent, and food about 15 percent. After this, your biggest expense is likely to be course materials. The supplies you’ll need include textbooks, lab books, notebooks, and stationery. Depending on what classes you take, you may also need things like a calculator, art supplies, and specialist software — you can find out what expenses you’ll incur by reading more about your class requirements. All this adds up to an average of about $800 per year.

However, costs do vary quite considerably for students taking different majors. Typically, though, the most expensive majors in terms of course materials are business, criminology, and psychology. In contrast, the least expensive majors are computer science, math, and music.

Other Expenses

Many college students already have a laptop when they start classes. If you don’t (or if your laptop lacks the capabilities you need for your classes), this will be another expense. You can purchase a basic laptop for a few hundred dollars, but if you need a particular model, you may need to spend up to a couple thousand dollars.

How to Reduce Costs

Whatever supplies you need, there are strategies you can use to reduce costs.

Buy Second Hand

Usually, there’s no need to buy new books. Since students who have completed a class often have no more use for their books, there tend to be many second-hand course materials available for purchase at the end of the semester. As well as buying from students at your college, you can find used books for sale online.

Rent Your Books

An alternative to purchasing books is to rent them. Just make sure you won’t need to refer to a book later and that you can keep it in good condition.

Use Your College Computer Lab

If you’re struggling to afford a laptop, software, or tech equipment, you may be able to find what you need at your college computer lab. Often, the equipment is available to use 24 hours a day.

Avoid Wasting Supplies

Prevent the need to purchase all new stationery and notebooks each year by keeping everything organized. If you need to move out of your housing at the end of the year, pack up your supplies to reuse them instead of throwing them out.

Pick Up Items from Free Bins

It’s common for colleges to set up free bins at the end of the year. Here, students can dispose of items like stationery and clothing that others may want.

You’ll also spend less if you live in off-campus housing rather than in a dorm. An alternative to Niagara College residence is Foundry Lofts. We have four- and five-bedroom suites available, both furnished and unfurnished. Book an in-person or virtual tour to check out the facilities.