The decision to live on or off campus is really dependent on the student and how much money they have. Many students live in areas such as Antioch or Donelson, which are at least a 20-minute drive to TSU, but the areas are safer and less expensive. Other popular areas include Bellevue and Brentwood, but these areas are pretty expensive, so it is best to have a couple of roommates, and the cost of gas and basic necessities when located so far away can be a hassle. There are several areas around TSU such as Charlotte and West End that have pretty decent apartments, but the rent is expensive because they are right in the middle of downtown Nashville; however, transportation is hardly an issue in these locations, because there are buses that run to and from school on the hour, but less frequently in the evening. It really depends on what you are looking for, how much money you have, and how well you know the area. The best advice is to talk to other students to get a good idea of what is available.
Local residents and TSU students get along really well. Many of the local residents own restaurants in the area and they hire students to deliver, host/hostess, and help in any way they can. If you are on scholarships, which most students are, it is much cheaper to live on campus, because you don't have to worry about paying monthly bills such as rent and utilities. This allows a student to spend their money on necessities like food and partying, which are some of the best things about Nashville!