Off-Campus Housing

Columbia, SC
Tuition (in-state)
$27,644 ($10,488)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: There's a lot of it + variety. Most students do it.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: This upcoming year will be my 1st year living off campus, but search for my new apartment was made simple. There is always plenty of places to choose from just depending on what you are looking for. Different locations are for different reasons i choose a place closer to campus so i could walk but many people choose because they are closer to the stadium to be in the mix on game days. I think we have a very good variety of options rather you want an apartment or house

College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: I don't know much about off-campus housing yet because I am going to be a freshman. All freshmen are required to live on campus. However, off-campus housing will be addressed when school starts.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: I have found a great place to live

4 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: If you can live close to 5 points (which I did) you'll have an incredible experience. The further you are from 5 points, the better your living condition and rent may be, but location is everything. There is nothing better than the convenience of a 5 minute walk home from the bars


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 36th
    Best Off-Campus Housing Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Gregory Goetz
Fort Mitchell, KY
Media Arts/Entrepreneurial Business
View all previous student authors

Many students will choose off-campus housing at some point in their college career. Whether it’s because of the greater freedom, the price, or just because they’re ready for a new phase in their lives, some prefer living off campus in spite of the removed distance. There are a multitude of student-living communities, with The Retreat and University Oaks among the favorites. The prices depend on the location, size, and quality of the apartment—off-campus housing is not always cheaper than on campus. The price of gas and a reserved garage space are also a factor, since both are necessary for anyone who commutes. To help out with this, most complexes offers a shuttle that runs to and from campus. Other additional costs include the cost of furniture, utilities, and groceries.

The main problem with living off campus is that students often feel secluded from the action. The convenience of the campus activities right outside your door is gone, and you can no longer venture to the library any time you need to or walk to the Russell House for a late-night meal with friends. It is all a question of whether your priority is freedom or convenience—a choice between freedoms with added responsibility or convenience with less flexibility. However, the option of quality off-campus housing is definitely there for those who decide to go that route.

Facts & Statistics

Undergrads Living Off Campus
Average Off-Campus Room & Board
Best Time to Look for a Place
January/February for fall semester, October for spring semester

Popular Areas
  • Copper Beach
  • Garnet River Walk
  • The Retreat
  • University Oaks
Average Rents
  • Studio: $550
  • 1 BR: $525
  • 2 BR: $650
  • 4BR: $1,200
Did You Know?
Almost every off-campus student living community provides a free shuttle system that runs students to and from campus.

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus housing on the following topics    Based on 144 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 142 responses

  • 1% Not worth the hassle or expense. Everyone just lives on campus.
  • 1% High prices and/or limited choices keep most students on campus.
  • 65% Price and availability can vary, but the added freedom is still worth it.
  • 32% 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 142 responses

  • 23% Not very helpful.
  • 0% The school does not allow students to live off campus.
  • 54% Somewhat helpful.
  • 23% Extremely helpful.
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