Off-Campus Housing

Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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4 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: You have to look at places very early on- about a year before you want to move in, but once you find a place off-campus housing is great. Collegetown is an awesome location for going out, being near others, and being close to campus. The area in general is pretty old so there aren't many fancy places, but it's fine for being in college.

College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: I have no experience trying to find off campus housing yet.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: All of the housing in Collegetown is owned by only 12 landlords. And they know they have the market cornered. The costs are ridiculously high and most of these places are pretty old and need some work. Sure, it's nice being able to have parties and not be overshadowed by an RA, but you better be prepared for loud late nights on the weekends and a rather trashy part of town since only college students who don't care about anything live there. Also, the convenience stores nearby have absolutely ridiculous prices, just because they can because people will still go there out of convenience. And you better start looking for off-campus housing in September, or you'll probably get stuck with some pretty crappy places. The competition for places is crazy and things go way too fast. Parking is available off campus, but it will cost you.

3 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Housing: Finding off-campus housing is easy and great but only if you look a whole year in advance. Usually it works out but it can be daunting because friendships and location preferences can easily change in a year.

2 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Housing: Ithaca is an expensive place to rent, but that is because of the property taxes. The demand for housing is super high, so landlords have no need to make the places nice, because people NEED to buy them, especially since you are not guarenteed on-campus housing once you are a junior.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 281st
    Best Off-Campus Housing Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Mandy Kain and Radhika Arora
Hewlett, N.Y., and Ithaca, N.Y.
View all previous student authors

Many students at Cornell tend to live off campus subsequent to freshman year. Those who do, agree that off-campus housing is the best choice, allowing for more of a social, independent, and unrestrained living environment. While options are abundant, it's advisable to begin searching as early as possible (November). The hot spots, clustered directly in Collegetown and within effortless walking distance from campus, are snatched up quickly. These options are also the most expensive but by far the most luxurious and convenient as well. Other possibilities that are not as close are generally more affordable.

Regardless of living preference, Ithaca has numerous options, all of which are feasible, and each of which has its own perks (utilities inclusive, gym, parking). Some students even live on Cayuga Lake, offering one of the most spectacular views at the expense of a nasty commute to campus. Regardless of the living situation, if you own a car, be sure to inquire about parking situations. Some landlords charge exorbitant rates to park in their lots.

Facts & Statistics

Undergrads Living Off Campus
Average Off-Campus Room & Board
Best Time to Look for a Place
November—housing options quickly decrease over time, especially after winter break
Popular Areas
  • 312 College Avenue
  • Collegetown Plaza
  • Eddygate Park Apartments
  • Gun Hill Residences
  • Ravenwood Apartments
  • Valentine Park Apartments
Average Rents
  • 1 BR: $850
  • 2 BR: $950
  • House: $550
  • Studio: $700
Did You Know?
During orientation week of the first semester and rush week of the second semester, students gather in Collegetown for massive off-campus block parties at private residences that are along College Avenue and Stewart Avenue.

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus housing on the following topics    Based on 79 responses

Very poor
  • Availability
  • Cost
  • Ease of obtaining/process
  • Landlords
  • Parking
  • Proximity to campus
  • Proximity to public transportation
  • Proximity to shopping
  • Quality
  • Safety
  • Variety

How helpful is the school in helping students find off-campus housing?    Based on 78 responses

  • 29% Not very helpful.
  • 0% The school does not allow students to live off campus.
  • 46% Somewhat helpful.
  • 24% Extremely helpful.

What is the off-campus housing selection like near campus and is it worth it?    Based on 79 responses

  • 1% Not worth the hassle or expense. Everyone just lives on campus.
  • 9% High prices and/or limited choices keep most students on campus.
  • 77% Price and availability can vary, but the added freedom is still worth it.
  • 13% Totally worth it. It's easy to find a place, and prices are reasonable.
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