Off-Campus Housing

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Off-Campus Housing


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College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: I don't live on campus.

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Lots of options but near stores, buses, and entertainment

College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: I do not live off campus and have not gone through the process of looking for off campus housing

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: There are so many choices of where you would like to live or which real estate agency you go through. I would definitely refer you to go the ARPM over the other ones though due to their friendly workers and they are very helpful. However the campus itself does not promote any housing except for the on campus housing.

5 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: There are a ton of different off-campus housing options that you can choose based on your desired location or rental rate per month. Obviously the more desirable locations are difficult to get and you have to put your name on a wait list very early in the fall semester for an apartment you won't live in until the next year, which can be hard to organize that far in advance. But, if you can be flexible there are a ton of different places in varying distances from campus that serve as great options if you don't get your first choice. It's really easy to find a place, even if your first option falls through.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Penn State requires freshmen to live in the residence halls, so off-campus housing doesn't become an option until sophomore year. Even then, spending another year in residence halls isn't such a terrible idea. The conditions do get better, and you can enjoy the benefits of dorm life-not cooking or cleaning-for a little longer before you make it into the real world. For the first year, you're thrown together with a roommate not of your choice. By the second year, however, most students have formed their own circle of friends and can choose to live in neighboring dorm rooms to create the perfect dorm environment. If you do choose off-campus housing, you'll probably end up only slightly farther from classes than your dorm.

Many of the student-friendly apartments are in downtown State College, which is either a short walk or bus ride from campus. As you go farther out, the apartment sizes increase and rents decrease. It isn't uncommon for students to get townhouses around State College and commute to campus. This means you either have to bring your own car or become familiar with the bus schedule. The biggest advantage of living outside the dorms is the freedom it gives you. This can be a great learning experience. It is the first time many students have to deal with buying food, keeping up with bills, and maintaining their own place. While some would prefer to use their meal points in the dining commons rather than fight over whose turn it is to do the dishes, there is satisfaction in eating food you've cooked for yourself. Provided you're willing to take on the extra responsibility and alter your lifestyle a little, living off-campus can also be significantly cheaper than dorm life and meal plans.

Facts & Statistics

Undergrads Living Off Campus
Average Off-Campus Room & Board
Best Time to Look for a Place
As soon as the school year begins. It is very difficult to figure out roommates and future plans, but the most popular apartments will be filled up by October and November.

Popular Areas
  • Beaver Avenue
  • Beaver Canyon, between Garner Street and Locust Lane
  • College Avenue
  • Downtown
Average Rents
  • 1 BR : $800
  • 2 BR : $1,500
  • House: $2,000
  • Studio : $500

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus housing on the following topics    Based on 306 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 307 responses

  • 19% Totally worth it. It's easy to find a place, and prices are reasonable.
  • 74% 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.
  • 0% 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 308 responses

  • 19% Extremely helpful.
  • 47% Somewhat helpful.
  • 34% Not very helpful.
  • 0% The school does not allow students to live off campus.
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