The case for living off campus: How much money can you actually save?


Kernel Opinion SIG

Matt Hasty

UK has widely advertised the benefits of living on-campus, but there are also ample benefits to living off-campus.

Perhaps closest to every student’s heart is the financial benefits. Living off-campus in an apartment is cheaper than paying for a dorm. For example, the apartment complex I live in costs me $524 a month, with a semester total of $2,620 (for 5 months).  The cheapest on-campus dorms, Baldwin, Ingels and Smith, are $3,700 per semester, an average of $740 per month. Many off-campus apartments are much cheaper.

Not only does off-campus housing save money on rent, but it provides opportunities to save money on food. At UK, when you are an off-campus student, you are not required to buy a meal plan (although University Flats, which is on campus, does not require a meal plan. However, it only houses upperclassmen and graduate students). Not being required to have a meal plan saves you even more money when you hardly eat on campus. This allows students a great amount of flexibility with their budget.

Privacy is also an issue. In a dorm, you most likely share a room with someone and have communal bathrooms. In many off-campus living options surrounding UK, occupants have their own room and their own private bathroom.

Living on-campus, students must vacate dorms for holidays and school vacations, which can be a hassle for those living far from home, also adding extra expenses for travel. Off-campus living is different. You don’t necessarily have to go home if you choose not to. For those who don’t want to go home, having an off-campus apartment offers you the liberty to choose. Boyd Hall and University Flats are the only places you can stay in during school breaks, according to the UK Housing website. However, even with those options, you must have a valid reason to stay on campus during these periods of vacation.

There are certainly drawbacks, such as not having the convenience of having your friends close-by to hang out with and not being close to school libraries. But, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

If you want to save money in the long run, consider living off-campus. There are several apartment complexes that are close to campus anyway with convenient bus stops and within walking distance of campus. As college students, we should save all the money we can, because eating Ramen noodles gets old.