Brown guarantees housing for all four years, even though most students opt to live on their own by senior year to gain more freedom, more space, or better facilities. Some years, the University lets juniors live off campus too, but officially, only seniors are guaranteed permission. Students apply to the Office of Residential Life for off-campus permission in the early spring of their junior year, most having already signed a lease in the previous months. As a senior, getting permission is easy, but finding the perfect apartment can be a greater challenge. Within a mile radius of campus there are endless housing options, but the best places are rarely advertised. Hit the pavement or ask friends if you want to find the best place. In general, students can find any kind of place they want—historic houses, new apartments, studios, or mansions.
While most students believe they save money by moving off campus, the frustrations and complications often add up quickly. Summer subletting can be hard, and don’t forget the astronomical heating bills during the long winter. Moving off campus should be a careful choice. Since the University requires students to live on campus for a few years, it’s easy to know if moving away from the University bubble is right for you.