One of the first decisions your child will have to make before entering college is whether or not they want to live on-campus or in FSU off-campus housing. Some colleges require their first year students to live on-campus, but Florida State allows students the freedom to make the decision on their own. There are a variety of different factors to consider before making a housing decision, which tends to get overwhelming. We understand that as a parent you want the best for your kid, so to help weigh some of the differences, we’ve accumulated a list of a few of the benefits to living off campus.
Freedom and Independence
Moments after saying goodbye on move-in day, the aura of growing up will begin to sink in. It is likely that your kids have gotten used to having you around to keep household operations running smoothly, but now it is officially time for them to branch out on their own. Living off-campus in apartments near FSU, students have the freedom to decorate and run their miniature home in a way that fits their new lifestyle. This is a great first-step into learning the ropes of the real world and allowing your kids to dip their toes into adulthood. Unlike on-campus residence halls, off-campus housing does not have RA’s or other staff members regulating activities. This will allow your child more freedom and less rules and regulations hanging over their heads.
When living off campus, your child will have the added benefit of privacy. Unlike living in an on-campus residence hall, students have the option to have their own room, and possibly their own bathroom. They also have the option to live alone if that is what suits their lifestyle needs. For people like myself, who value their alone time, this was one of my biggest priorities. Having your own space to get dressed, study, clear your head, etc. is one of the greatest benefits to living off-campus. The vast amount of space is another pro that coexists with privacy. In an off-campus apartment, you are guaranteed more space, allowing you the privacy needed to escape some of the stresses of college life.
Amenities vary depending on your choice of housing, but more often than not off-campus housing will offer some desirable features. These can be broken down into two separate categories- Community Amenities and Apartment Amenities. Community Amenities can include a fitness center, study rooms, outdoor pool, TV lounge, ample resident parking, etc. Apartment amenities can include spacious living areas, fully furnished apartments, walk-in closets, washer and dryer in-unit, gourmet kitchens, etc. Make sure to think about what amenities are most important for your kids and do your research on what each complex has to offer!
More Cost Effective
The cost of living on campus gets expensive when you are paying for housing on top of everything else. Some on-campus living facilities require students to purchase an expensive meal plan in addition to their housing costs. Moving into off-campus housing can potentially reduce the cost of living significantly by allowing your child to buy their own groceries and prepare meals in their own private kitchen. At Florida State, rental rates of residence halls range from $2,740 to $4,050 per person, per semester. Living off-campus, you will be able to find more reasonable rates, in addition to all of the other benefits to living off campus.
Unlike residence halls, off-campus housing will not close for holiday breaks. For students far from home, it can be difficult to travel to-and-from home for every break. As a parent, you understand the cost of travel can get expensive! With off-campus housing, you will not have to worry. Apartment complexes will not close during these times so your child will have the option to stay if needed. Also, leases generally last through summer, so they will be able to come back and visit college town once the semester is over too.
The raffle of getting assigned a random roommate in a residence hall can be overwhelming, especially since students will be sharing a room in double or triple dormitory rooms. When deciding to live off-campus, students will have the opportunity to choose roommates they feel compatible with, or they can take part in high-tech roommate matching programs offered by off-campus apartments. Living with people who has similar interests as your kids will make their college experience that much better!
Many apartment complexes put together activities for their residents to do, such as bagels and coffee in the main area during finals week or pizza parties, where residents can socialize and get to know one another. These activities are just one way for your children to get affiliated with the people they’re living with and potentially form new friendships. Also, with the amenities off-campus housing has to offer, there are tons of opportunity for your kids to spend time with others, whether it is lounging by the pool area or studying together in the study rooms.
Deciding whether or not to live on-campus can be stressful. There will always be a variety of different factors that go into making the decision, so make sure to identify what is more important to you and your kid! Whether they are someone who needs their own bedroom, or they’re only concerned with the location, through research and exploration you will find housing that best suits their needs. < Return to FSU Parent Guide