Off-Campus Housing

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Off-Campus Housing


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3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: some pros of living off-campus include cheaper prices, more freedom, and more variety. some cons include having to pay monthly, 12 month lease periods, and some can be far from campus.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: I haven't had an apartment yet but everyone says its pretty easy to get one.

2 people found this useful Report
1 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Landlords are out to screw you over

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: housing closest to campus is certainly more pricey- i'm paying about 650/month next year- but worth it. great location and great quality.

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Housing: I love my apartment! It is very cheap and affordable and way cheaper than dorms, but with every pro, comes a con. I live about half a mile from campus, in a run down apartment, which costs me about $1055 with all utilities, divided up by 3 people and better internet, coming to a total cost of $375 per person. Having this option is nice, but I wish I had moved into an apartment sooner. But not all is great with off-campus housing. When something breaks or is wrong, my landlords take their time to take care of the issue. I had a leak in my bathroom ceiling for a month before they found out that a pipe had busted and needed to be replaced- which lead to 2 weeks of maintenance to fix. They also overcharge if they think it was trivial and that we, the tenants could do ourselves. For people newly introduced to the apartment scene, it seems rather insulting to do this. On top of that, they require co-signers for anyone who has not rented before and they do a credit check on them. Parking spaces are another $310 per year, and paid up front, but there is on street parking that alternates everyday, except Sundays. With all that said, it's still way better than other places. I like my off-campus housing and there is even a site to look up potential roommates and/or places to live- way better than the on-campus housing matching.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Most students move off campus after their first year at UI. There are plenty of houses and apartments available in the area, most of which are within walking distance of campus. The most popular places to look for housing are the College Street or Ralston Creek apartments. Both of these complexes are mostly student-occupied and are a stone’s throw from downtown Iowa City. If it’s a house you’re looking for, you’re going to end up a bit farther from campus, but still within walking distance. Most of the student-rented houses are on Washington, College, Governor, and Jefferson streets. Prices for apartments and houses run about the same—the general rule of thumb is the farther you are from campus, the cheaper your rent will be.

Iowa City and the University offer an extensive guide for finding off-campus housing when you’re ready to move off campus, which can be found on the city’s Web site. Each year, many students run into problems with landlords, but most of these are avoidable issues. It’s important to make sure you inspect the place well before you move in and carefully read everything you sign. It’s also easy to forget about the hidden costs of living off campus, such as heat, electricity, Internet, and cable. When all is said and done, however, it costs about the same, if not less, to live off campus as it does in the residence halls.

Facts & Statistics

Undergrads Living Off Campus
Average Off-Campus Room & Board
Best Time to Look for a Place
Students usually start looking after Thanksgiving break and sign a lease before winter break.
Popular Areas
  • Coralville
  • Downtown Iowa City
  • Outskirts of downtown Iowa City
Average Rents
  • 1 BR: $530
  • 2 BR: $655
  • 3 BR: $935
  • 4 BR: $1,200
  • Studio: $460

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus housing on the following topics    Based on 180 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 184 responses

  • 17% Totally worth it. It's easy to find a place, and prices are reasonable.
  • 72% Price and availability can vary, but the added freedom is still worth it.
  • 8% High prices and/or limited choices keep most students on campus.
  • 3% 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 182 responses

  • 17% Extremely helpful.
  • 54% Somewhat helpful.
  • 29% Not very helpful.
  • 0% The school does not allow students to live off campus.
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