So, you're off to college and about to start a new chapter of your life. Congratulations! This is where you'll face several significant decisions that can shape your college experience. While being a high school graduate is, indeed, exciting, you'll find this stage overwhelming, as you have your hands full when settling down for college.  

Among the many matters you need to take care of as a university student—from your college degree to your school of choice and its location—you might think looking for a dorm or student housing is insignificant. However, most college youngsters don't realize that where you choose to live can affect your quality of life as a student.  

When you think about how much time you'll spend in your dorm or apartment, it makes sense to ensure you're making the right decision. That said, here are some things to consider the next time you go out and look for a place to live in college: 

1) On-Campus Or Off-Campus? 

When looking for accommodation, you need to determine first if your school is flexible when it comes to their students' housing options. Some colleges require students to live on campus during the first year, sometimes up until the second or third year. You'll also find institutions that allow students to choose whether or not to live on-campus. 

On-campus dorms are ideal for students looking to find new friends or wanting a sense of belongingness, which is typical for first-year students. You're sure to meet other people, but you also need to be ready to share amenities, including the bathroom, study room, and student lounges. As you're sharing most of the facilities and you won't likely have the whole room to yourself, on-campus housing is cheaper. 

But if you prefer to be more comfortable and on your own, you can opt for off-campus accommodation, such as apartments, townhouses, and traditional houses you can rent or lease long-term. Suppose you've been accepted to Brigham Young University-Idaho and you're wondering where or how to start looking for suitable accommodation. In that case, you can click here for university-approved townhouses and apartments located right across the campus.  

2) Location 

Location matters if you plan to go with off-campus housing. The distance will impact your student life, especially if you don't want to waste your money and time commuting. It's best to look for an apartment or townhouse in an accessible location, ideally one from where you can walk or take a single ride to get to the university.  

You might also want to consider your habits as a student when choosing a location for your new home. Do you prefer to study late in the library? If so, your housing needs to be in an area that's well-lit at night so you can safely and comfortably make your way home when you're done studying. Take note also of the safety and security of the neighborhood as a whole. To add, consider how convenient the place will be in terms of dining, shopping, and laundry options.  

To start, you can create a list of neighborhoods that match your criteria. You can first do an online search to identify which communities are the closest to your university and dig deeper into which communities are likely to offer the most of your non-negotiables. Take the time to visit each neighborhood and walk around to get a good feel of what it's like living there. 

3) Living Arrangement 

Do you prefer to live alone, or do you not mind having one or two people with you to share the bills and expenses with? If it's the latter, you can search for other students looking for roommates, or if you’ve found a place, you can ask around to find the ideal people who match your requirement. Post on social media. Ask your friends if they know anyone looking for a place to stay in that area, or target those who've been accepted into the same university as yours. 

Living alone is fine if you want the privacy that comes with it. However, sharing the apartment with someone is also good if you need help with the rent, bills, and chores. Just be careful when screening people to be your roommates. Ask about their family background and be clear about accepting visitors into the unit.  

You can try finding roommates with the same daily habits as you. Someone from the same department or major may also be an advantage. That way, you can have a study buddy, and your schedule is most likely in sync with them. You can attend classes together and walk home together too. 

4) Features And Amenities 

Another crucial factor to consider when choosing where to live in college is the features and amenities of the place. A nice bathroom, for one, should be a priority when looking for student accommodation. So, before sealing the deal and signing the lease agreement, check the bathroom and inspect it to see if everything is in good working condition. This applies to plumbing and ventilation, aside from the room's overall aesthetic. 

The same goes for other areas of the house or apartment, including the kitchen and bedroom. You'll also need a high-speed internet connection. Check the heating and ventilation system—you don't want to come home to a freezing home or the opposite throughout your stay in the apartment. If you have a car, there should be a parking space too.  

5) Cost 

The cost of the place is yet another thing you need to consider before deciding on student accommodation. Whether living on or off campus, your budget will play a crucial role in your decision. Setting a budget will help ensure you won't go overboard and decide based on impulse. 

Ask yourself how much you're willing to spend on a dorm or apartment each semester or school year and go from there. What amenities are you ready to compromise if it means lowering the rent? It's essential to recognize the necessity of sticking to your budget so you won't have to feel the burden of paying more than what you can afford later on. 


Your living situation needs careful planning when you embark on a new journey as a student. Whether you decide to live on campus or off campus, consider a few crucial things so that you don't end up regretting your decision for, at least, a semester. That way, you can make the most out of your first year as a student and have the best experience in the remaining years of your college life.