There are some beautiful places to live off campus, and pretty much anyone can imagine themselves living across the street from Central Park with skyline views. However, not many people, not to mention college students, can afford this. Apartments in New York are very expensive, and unless you're one of those lucky people who can afford this type of luxury, living off campus is probably not the best idea. When talking with Barnard students, it is sometimes difficult to discern what "off-campus" housing is. Some students consider it to be housing that's owned by the college and is located far away, while others view it as non-college-owned property. Morningside Heights is a very nice area to live in and is very convenient for involvement on campus and going to class, but prices in this area are a little bit high.
The next most obvious choice would be to look for a place in a nearby neighborhood; however, outside of Morningside Heights, the prices tend to be even higher or the neighborhood isn't in a great area. But people do find housing off campus and are usually very happy with it. This often happens when a group of people are able to find a good deal in Morningside Heights. If you can find a good deal, it might be worth it to you, but do keep in mind that housing on campus comes in all varieties, so it's worth checking out all your options. Getting housing through the school can be cheaper and just less of a hassle.