Fairfax County is one of the richest counties in the nation, and with the city’s close proximity to Washington D.C., off-campus housing, much less affordable off-campus housing, is not easy to find. Unlike other small college towns, Fairfax doesn’t have any off-campus apartment complexes which are primarily for students, so students are likely to end up living next to families, single businessmen, or elderly couples, turning thirsty Thursdays into a bust for any student looking to throw a party.
Mason is infamously pegged as a commuter school, but only because a large percentage of students are from the Northern Virginia area and find it cheaper and easier to live at home. There’s really not much to gain by choosing to live off campus if you’re not from the Fairfax area. To get the full college experience and to meet new people, the best bet is to live on campus. Given Mason’s busted parking situation, it’s also the safest bet for getting to class on time. Students who do plan on living off campus should start looking early for housing, since most of the affordable options close to campus are snatched up quickly.