If you can find an apartment that has reasonable rent or get a friend to divide the rent and expenses with, then off-campus housing is worth it. There are a lot of apartments around the area for the students. The harsh realization of living in West County is the expensiveness of the apartments. In this case, the more people living with you the better. Having more roommates will drastically cut the cost. The only problem about getting your own apartment is the lack of awareness of the events going on campus. Keep in touch by asking a friend who lives on campus about the social events or small gatherings going on. It's great living on your own, and it beats paying the price of living on campus, as long as you really search for what's cheapest and closest to school.
Off-campus apartments cost a little bit less than the campus apartments, but it depends on the number of people living with you and the distance from campus, which will determine your transportation and gas costs. If you like the on-campus atmosphere and want to stay on campus in the residence halls, go ahead. The apartments are lovely, too, and provide all the convenience of living where you go to class. Just make sure you find out all the facts before making a final decision.