If you want to stay on campus all four years, Clark will not force you to leave. In fact, the longer you are at Clark, the better chance you have of getting a prime spot in one of the dorms or houses. But, if more freedom is what you desire, off-campus housing lies right around the perimeter of campus and can be quite affordable. By some calculations, the price of living off campus is equal to that of staying in the dorms. By others, it costs more due to the fact that you now have to pay for your own utilities, including gas or electric heat, which can become a greater cost than your monthly rent during the cold winter months. Students complain that the landlords in the area can be hit-or-miss. Some are very strict and easily angered, while others are almost nonexistent as long as you pay the rent on time. However, the latter situation can become a problem as soon as something in the apartment needs fixing, and the landlord is nowhere to be found.
Despite the problems with off-campus housing, many Clarkies consider it to be a fair trade for their personal freedom. Students in off-campus houses can, and often do, throw parties on the weekends without fear of being written up by an RA. They can drink or smoke wherever and whenever they want. And, perhaps best of all, they can cook their own food in their own kitchen and shower in their own bathroom, instead of having to walk down the hall carrying their pots and pans or shampoo and conditioner. Many of the apartments around Clark also allow students to park their cars in a driveway or directly in front of the apartment for no additional charge. For students who lack a car, many apartments are only five minutes away from campus.