Off-Campus Housing

Tuition (in-state)
$28,592 ($9,908)
Admission Difficulty
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3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: I don't live off campus, but from what I've seen it is average.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Lots of options, a bit pricey.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Use Fairfax is VERY expensive when it comes to living so living off campus for students can break your pockets.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: I live on campus but from what i have seen off capus housing looks decent

1 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: I went through the process of off campus housing and it was even worse than on campus housing , which is pretty bad in itself. Off campus housing has no priority at Mason. There is almost no one to help you, it is all online applications that may or may not work out , then you just have to fend for yourself.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 916th
    Best Off-Campus Housing Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Emily Sharrer
Harrisonburg, Va.
View all previous student authors

Fairfax County is one of the richest counties in the nation, and with the city’s close proximity to Washington D.C., off-campus housing, much less affordable off-campus housing, is not easy to find. Unlike other small college towns, Fairfax doesn’t have any off-campus apartment complexes which are primarily for students, so students are likely to end up living next to families, single businessmen, or elderly couples, turning thirsty Thursdays into a bust for any student looking to throw a party.

Mason is infamously pegged as a commuter school, but only because a large percentage of students are from the Northern Virginia area and find it cheaper and easier to live at home. There’s really not much to gain by choosing to live off campus if you’re not from the Fairfax area. To get the full college experience and to meet new people, the best bet is to live on campus. Given Mason’s busted parking situation, it’s also the safest bet for getting to class on time. Students who do plan on living off campus should start looking early for housing, since most of the affordable options close to campus are snatched up quickly.

Facts & Statistics

Undergrads Living Off Campus
Freshmen Living Off Campus
Average Off-Campus Room & Board
Best Time to Look for a Place
Students planning to live on campus have to fill out an application and select their housing in April. It's wise for students living off campus to look in late March or early April for a place, in case they need to get an on-campus place at the last minute if no off-campus housing is available. After the deadline passes for on-campus housing, students will be hard pressed to find any openings on campus if they haven't filled out their form, and if students don't look early enough for off-campus housing, most of those options will be gone too.
Popular Areas
A helpful site for students is, which has listings of off-campus housing options for students. The best area to be off campus is in Fairfax Square Apartments, Margate Manor, or any of the townhouses located within walking distance to campus in Old Town. Some students also choose to move to Manassa or Arlington and commute to Fairfax, since there is ample affordable housing in those areas.
Average Rents
  • 1 BR: $1,200
  • 1 BR (townhouse): $1,400

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus housing on the following topics    Based on 147 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 145 responses

  • 33% Not very helpful.
  • 1% The school does not allow students to live off campus.
  • 54% Somewhat helpful.
  • 12% Extremely helpful.

What is the off-campus housing selection like near campus and is it worth it?    Based on 146 responses

  • 3% Not worth the hassle or expense. Everyone just lives on campus.
  • 29% High prices and/or limited choices keep most students on campus.
  • 55% Price and availability can vary, but the added freedom is still worth it.
  • 12% Totally worth it. It's easy to find a place, and prices are reasonable.


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