Deciding when, how and where to move off-campus can be very exciting and also very overwhelming. There are many factors that you will need to consider before you decide to move off-campus, which mainly include costs and responsibilities.
The costs. There are many costs associated with living off-campus which include rent, security deposit, utilities, insurance, groceries, and furnishings/household items. Typically your rent should not exceed 40% of your net income (what you bring home).
The responsibilities. Living on your own brings new responsibilities. Time management and knowing how to budget will be important so that you don’t go into debt or default on your monthly bills.
Housing quality & safety. Before you choose a location to move, check it out at different times of the day and night to feel confident that it is safe and secure. If an apartment is shown to you that is not clean and the landlord has not given you an idea of what will be ‘fixed’ or done to the apartment before you move in, chances are that this landlord will not do much to the apartment when you do live in it.
Roommates. In order to save money, many students will opt to live with roommates. To help make your experience a positive one, be sure to discuss all major issues prior to making any final living arrangements.
Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.