Many students recommend the dorm experience for your freshman year, but after that, it is time for something new and time to live on your own. That’s right, it’s time to get an apartment and have to cook for yourself, clean for yourself, pay bills, as well as have parties and invite members of the opposite sex over as often as you want. Yeah, having an apartment is great. If you want to live near campus and you don’t mind paying a premium, West Campus is the place to be, especially if you are Greek, as this is where the sorority and fraternity houses are located. However, if you are not Greek or Greek-oriented don’t turn your nose up. There are plenty of non-Greeks in West Campus too, as it is the best and most convenient place to live while at UT. To clarify, West Campus is not actually on campus, but it is to the west of campus across the Drag.
The apartments in West Campus vary from new and nice, to old and trashed, but nearly all are highly priced. This is because of their convenience to campus, and you almost never get everything you pay for. However, they are easily within walking distance to school. If you want to be lazy or it’s raining, there is the West Campus Shuttle Bus. When dealing with campus area apartment management companies just be aware that some companies try to take advantage of college students. If something doesn’t sound fair or right, it’s probably not. Some companies are known for taking students’ deposits, so if you feel you have been treated unfairly, talk to the company. Go over what they used your deposit for and make them explain it to you. If they are still taking advantage, call the Texas Apartment Association or a lawyer, and don’t be afraid to get your parents involved. Riverside is another heavily populated student area that is much lower priced, and you get a lot more amenities for what you pay for. The apartments on Riverside generally have nice pools and health clubs, basketball and volleyball courts, and are inexpensive enough for students to have their own rooms. The only downside is that you have to ride the bus drive to campus, and it is almost impossible to find a place to park. The other downside is that Riverside has a somewhat higher crime rate than other areas of Austin, and everyone has to be more careful when they are in that area.
North Campus is another popular area, and most apartments there are as expensive as West Campus, but there are some less expensive choices, as well. There are many options around Austin on the UT shuttle routes, so you can find housing that is much less expensive than the housing found nearest to campus. Unfortunately, you won’t have the convenience of walking to school, and parking on campus is never an easy task.