Off-Campus Housing

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Off-Campus Housing


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5 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Housing: Living off campus with and next door to a dozen of my friends was the best part of my experience at Carnegie Mellon. Many people were able to find great houses to share with their roommates for less money than it would cost to live in a cramped one bedroom apartment in most other cities. For anyone who wants to live close to campus, almost everyone who wants a place can find one that's at most a twenty minute walk or five minute drive to class. Many houses are directly across Forbes or down Beeler.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: There are some really nice apartments in Pittsburgh, but you have to be willing to pay. Otherwise, it will not be very nice. The cost of a nice place will be similar to having a single on campus at CMU.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Off-campus Housing is there if you look for it, but because most people lose their place in the housing lottery, many choose not live off campus. In fact, on-campus housing is usually cheaper because you don't have to pay utilities which can be expensive in older houses that are closer to campus.

3 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Housing: I lived in an apartment for 3 years and i didnt die.

2 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Carnegie Mellon highly discourages living off campus and does not really value or assist students who do, except for some financial aid exceptions.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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There’s a large selection of houses and apartments to choose from in the nearby area. Most students love their off-campus residences, but the relationship between students and their houses is not without its pains. Having your own place is a great thing for a student, and dealing with things like paying bills, getting enough heat, trekking to campus, and even being wary of suspicious housemates is not enough to dampen the experience of having your own place. Students can find themselves spread out in Oakland, Shadyside, and Squirrel Hill, but most students renting houses end up living on nearby Beeler Street. The street itself is like a small community of CMU students living off campus. On the weekends, there’s usually at least one party somewhere close by.

Finding off-campus space isn’t much of a problem. The housing department makes it trouble-free to find and secure a location and provides students with information packets and many private listings only available to the CMU community. Unfortunately, you’ll probably have to do at least 10 minutes of walking to get to campus. This isn’t so bad, though, especially considering the impressive condition of many of the houses and apartments. If you can find an off-campus place that is well-maintained and set up so that you don’t have to pay for utilities (Pittsburgh has freezing winters), the move from campus to a nearby apartment or house is definitely worth it. If you can find a bunch of friends to live with and drive down the rent, think about moving off campus by at least your junior year. Be careful, though! Students warn that campus housing can be a disaster if you don’t check out the place before you choose to rent it.

Facts & Statistics

Undergrads Living Off Campus
Freshmen Living Off Campus
Average Off-Campus Room & Board
Best Time to Look for a Place
In order to find a nice place that isn't too far away, students typically start looking for an off-campus place in March or April of the previous school year. Basically, to start searching for a place five months before is definitely not uncommon.
Popular Areas
  • Beeler Street
  • Oakland
  • Shadyside
  • Squirrel Hill
  • Wilkins Avenue
Average Rents
  • Studio: $700
  • 1 BR: $735
  • 2 BR: $1,000
  • 3 BR: $1,350
  • 4 BR: $2,000
Did You Know?
  • Once you live off campus, you are no longer allowed to live in campus housing, unless you apply for the housing wait list. However, it doesn't guarantee anything and doesn't notify students if they receive housing until late July and August.
  • Greek housing is considered off-campus housing. Students in Greek housing aren't allowed to move back into campus housing automatically, yet they are still subject to the same rules of campus housing.

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus housing on the following topics    Based on 82 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 84 responses

  • 36% Totally worth it. It's easy to find a place, and prices are reasonable.
  • 57% Price and availability can vary, but the added freedom is still worth it.
  • 6% High prices and/or limited choices keep most students on campus.
  • 1% Not worth the hassle or expense. Everyone just lives on campus.

How helpful is the school in helping students find off-campus housing?    Based on 85 responses

  • 9% Extremely helpful.
  • 46% Somewhat helpful.
  • 45% Not very helpful.
  • 0% The school does not allow students to live off campus.
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