Dallas has a vast selection of areas and complexes to live in, as well as a vast selection of price ranges. A large number of students choose to live off campus their sophomore through senior years, and their parents purchase condos or apartments for them. Living off campus has several benefits: freedom from RAs and rules, privacy, a real place to call `home,' and not having to answer to school officials in general. When the time comes to start looking for housing, students do not have to arduously look around Dallas. Most students consistently pick the same complexes every year, and many of them are located here in the Park Cities. There are townhouses, houses, and apartment complexes on every corner and side of the campus, all of which are reasonably priced and comfortable. Once you venture out onto the expressway towards the Downtown, Knox-Henderson, and McKinney areas, the price range skyrockets. Because Dallas is such an urban and chic city, the cost of living is a bit higher, especially around areas of high traffic and business. However, since SMU is located in a college-friendly atmosphere, affordable housing is not difficult to track down.
Many students that live nearby can still walk to class. On the other hand, the farther you go, the earlier you will have to wake up to drive to class and park. Parking is a hassle at this school, so you will have to wake up maybe an hour or so before your class time just to secure a spot on the top level of the garage. If you enjoy rolling out of bed 10 or 15 minutes before class, living off campus is not for you. Another bonus of living off campus is that other SMU students will most likely live around you, too.