Off-Campus Housing

Iowa City, IA
Tuition (in-state)
$26,279 ($8,057)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Student

Off-Campus Housing: There a a lot of options between apartments (single or shared, furnished or not), condos, houses for rent or purchase, rooms for rent in someone's house etc. The cost is somewhat higher than I feel appropriate but it's convenient and independent living. Safety is similar to anywhere near campus.

2 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Off-campus housing is very expensive. You really don't get much bang for your buck. The most affordable options are either run-down or very far from campus. It's great if you are able to get a group to split the costs.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: I have not lived off campus yet, however I have signed a lease for next year already. Off-campus housing is very expensive.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: I am living in an apartment off of campus next year that isn't too far away, and is still connected through the school.

College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: I really don't know because I have not looked into that


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 322nd
    Best Off-Campus Housing Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Kelly McPhee
Naperville, IL
View all previous student authors

Most students move off campus after their first year at UI. There are plenty of houses and apartments available in the area, most of which are within walking distance of campus. The most popular places to look for housing are the College Street or Ralston Creek apartments. Both of these complexes are mostly student-occupied and are a stone’s throw from downtown Iowa City. If it’s a house you’re looking for, you’re going to end up a bit farther from campus, but still within walking distance. Most of the student-rented houses are on Washington, College, Governor, and Jefferson streets. Prices for apartments and houses run about the same—the general rule of thumb is the farther you are from campus, the cheaper your rent will be.

Iowa City and the University offer an extensive guide for finding off-campus housing when you’re ready to move off campus, which can be found on the city’s Web site. Each year, many students run into problems with landlords, but most of these are avoidable issues. It’s important to make sure you inspect the place well before you move in and carefully read everything you sign. It’s also easy to forget about the hidden costs of living off campus, such as heat, electricity, Internet, and cable. When all is said and done, however, it costs about the same, if not less, to live off campus as it does in the residence halls.

Facts & Statistics

Undergrads Living Off Campus
Average Off-Campus Room & Board
Best Time to Look for a Place
Students usually start looking after Thanksgiving break and sign a lease before winter break.
Popular Areas
  • Coralville
  • Downtown Iowa City
  • Outskirts of downtown Iowa City
Average Rents
  • 1 BR: $530
  • 2 BR: $655
  • 3 BR: $935
  • 4 BR: $1,200
  • Studio: $460

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus housing on the following topics    Based on 101 responses

Very poor
  • 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 102 responses

  • 3% Not worth the hassle or expense. Everyone just lives on campus.
  • 7% High prices and/or limited choices keep most students on campus.
  • 76% Price and availability can vary, but the added freedom is still worth it.
  • 14% 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 101 responses

  • 30% Not very helpful.
  • 0% The school does not allow students to live off campus.
  • 50% Somewhat helpful.
  • 21% Extremely helpful.
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