Off-Campus Housing

Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
More statistics . . .
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Reviews

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4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: the housing system is pretty awesome

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: There are a great deal of apartments both very close to the school or a short bus ride away and also a large spectrum of price points to choose from.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Get off campus housing early

College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: I don't have off campus

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: I live off campus, the price can be high but its cheaper than living in the dorms.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 89th
    Best Off-Campus Housing Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

James Bunting
Hometown
Whitehall, PA
Major
Journalism
View all previous student authors

Penn State requires freshmen to live in the residence halls, so off-campus housing doesn't become an option until sophomore year. Even then, spending another year in residence halls isn't such a terrible idea. The conditions do get better, and you can enjoy the benefits of dorm life-not cooking or cleaning-for a little longer before you make it into the real world. For the first year, you're thrown together with a roommate not of your choice. By the second year, however, most students have formed their own circle of friends and can choose to live in neighboring dorm rooms to create the perfect dorm environment. If you do choose off-campus housing, you'll probably end up only slightly farther from classes than your dorm.

Many of the student-friendly apartments are in downtown State College, which is either a short walk or bus ride from campus. As you go farther out, the apartment sizes increase and rents decrease. It isn't uncommon for students to get townhouses around State College and commute to campus. This means you either have to bring your own car or become familiar with the bus schedule. The biggest advantage of living outside the dorms is the freedom it gives you. This can be a great learning experience. It is the first time many students have to deal with buying food, keeping up with bills, and maintaining their own place. While some would prefer to use their meal points in the dining commons rather than fight over whose turn it is to do the dishes, there is satisfaction in eating food you've cooked for yourself. Provided you're willing to take on the extra responsibility and alter your lifestyle a little, living off-campus can also be significantly cheaper than dorm life and meal plans.

Facts & Statistics

Undergrads Living Off Campus
63%
Best Time to Look for a Place
As soon as the school year begins. It is very difficult to figure out roommates and future plans, but the most popular apartments will be filled up by October and November.

Popular Areas
  • Beaver Avenue
  • Beaver Canyon, between Garner Street and Locust Lane
  • College Avenue
  • Downtown
Average Rents
  • 1 BR : $800
  • 2 BR : $1,500
  • House: $2,000
  • Studio : $500

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus housing on the following topics    Based on 268 responses

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

What is the off-campus housing selection like near campus and is it worth it?    Based on 262 responses

  • 0% Not worth the hassle or expense. Everyone just lives on campus.
  • 6% High prices and/or limited choices keep most students on campus.
  • 73% Price and availability can vary, but the added freedom is still worth it.
  • 20% Totally worth it. It's easy to find a place, and prices are reasonable.

How helpful is the school in helping students find off-campus housing?    Based on 261 responses

  • 33% Not very helpful.
  • 0% The school does not allow students to live off campus.
  • 47% Somewhat helpful.
  • 20% Extremely helpful.
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