Monday, June 3, 2024



Getting onto campus is often seen as the biggest hurdle and a significant milestone after high school. Then comes the big enigma of student accommodation. Deciding between on-campus and off-campus living may be challenging and overwhelming, and students must be properly guided to ensure they make the best decisions based on their needs.

The debate between dorms and apartments has been standing for a long time, one trying to outweigh the other. However, each option has its fair share of challenges and perks, and students must assess them to make a conclusive decision. This article seeks to prove whether dorms are cheaper than apartments.


What is more profitable for students?

Both apartments and dormitories have unique characteristics that allow students to choose between them. Most guardians and institutions prefer their students to live on-campus for the first academic year since it allows the students to get the hang of the school, and it is highly convenient for the students as they try to grasp the ropes of the culture and campus outskirts.

However, students seem to prefer apartments due to the benefits associated with the student accommodation system. Apartments permit privacy for the students and allow them to personalize their spaces based on their wishes. Colleges have also recognized this need among students and tried implementing dorms as conducive spaces. Campuses have redefined their dormitory spaces, enlarging them to occupy around four individuals. The space is customized to include a common space and a bathroom restricted to the individuals within the room,

Determining what would be more profitable for students may be challenging as each living style depends on various factors and may be attractive to different students and their demands. Either way, students must conduct sufficient research to determine their best option.

Dorms or apartments: A cost comparison

The average cost of education in colleges is relatively high, which equally translates to student living costs. A study by Education Data Initiative showcases that students pay $11,520 annually for on-campus rooms and on-board, while students off-campus pay $11,365 annually. Despite the difference is minimal, dorms are considered more expensive than apartments.

The cost, however, varies based on the services and amenities offered. On-campus living tends to be more expensive than apartments, encompassing staff fees and amenities such as WiFi, TV cable, and laundry services. The cost of apartments also varies based on the location and other factors. Apartments in small towns tend to be cheaper. The availability of amenities within the apartment can also increase or reduce the cost.

Students may sometimes share the apartment expenses through joint living and reduce the payable rent and utilities fees.

Factors to consider in choosing the student housing

The decision regarding student living is crucial, and students must be well-versed to ensure they make an ideal decision based on their housing demands. Cost is one of the paramount factors that students must consider before choosing between apartments and dormitories. The following are examples of factors that students must consider before deciding.


Location is highly significant for students as they choose apartments or dormitories. One of the predominant reasons for students opting for dorms is the location. Most students find dormitories highly convenient since they are centered around most required amenities and are close to the classrooms.

Students must also have the same considerations when choosing apartments. Students need to select apartments within the proximity of the classes. Apartments far from the school may be disadvantageous due to increased traveling expenses. Students may also struggle to make it early to their classes due to the distance.

Amenities provided

Colleges bring together different nationalities and cultures, and the diversification of students within campus is highly remarkable. Due to differences in backgrounds and cultures, students also require specific amenities to meet their needs. Dorms and apartments are unique in the amenities provided, and students must effectively conduct their research and choose the best option for themselves.

While choosing apartments, students must consider parking services, internet connection, safety and security, water availability, and recreational services. Students with a knack for health and wellness would find it important to select an apartment with a gym, swimming pool, or one near the services.


Preference births expectations that are used to gauge a desired outcome. It may be difficult to be sold on a notion when you already have a formed stance on a contrary opinion. Likewise, students must also assess their preferences based on their needs.

The question of whether dorms are better than apartments is rather loaded, and the opinion varies based on the student’s preferences. If you seek silence, privacy, and seclusion, apartments are the best choice. Some students and parents may perceive apartments negatively and opt for on-campus living based on convenience.

Assess the demographics

Campus living is very specific for each student since each has a list of parameters that must be met. Dormitories allow for the converging of students and the development of a community. However, students may assess the type of students living in dormitories based on gender, character, and age and make informed decisions.

When selecting an apartment, students must also consider the type of people living within the apartment and the ratio between students and civilians. The social aspect of both environments can also be analyzed and gauged against the student’s needs.

Pros of living in a dormitory

The following are some of the perks of living in a dormitory.

Socializing with other students.

If you are a social and curious butterfly, this student housing option is best suited for you. Dormitories bring together students from all parts of the world and allow students to partake and interact with other students. Forming students when joining campus is quite challenging, but students gain a swarm of friends to interact with under on-campus living.

Dorms also allow for the creation of a student community, thus allowing further bonding. Under a community, the college experience becomes more exciting and stress-free, allowing the students to share their experiences and uplift each other. Moreover, students living on campus can keep up with ongoing school activities happening on and off campus.


The convenience associated with on-campus living is unmatched, and it is one of the biggest sale points for inviting students to live in dormitories. Most activities are near, and students would not struggle to access services. Classrooms are also close, and students could wake up 30 minutes before class and make it on time.

Dormitories may also have on-board packages, including food and other amenities. This makes it convenient for the students since they do not have to buy food as it is already provided.

Services and shared amenities

Dorms are advantageous because they provide services that make student living more comfortable. Students living in dormitories profit from services such as laundry facilities and cleaning provided by the support staff. Internet, electricity, and water are also assured since they are part of the package to maximize students’ comfort. Dormitories may also allow for gyms, furnished rooms, common recreational areas, and cable TV, thus making it more attractive for students.

Cons of living in a dormitory

The following are some of the disadvantages students experience in dormitories.

Lack of privacy

The downside of having the advantage of socializing in dormitories also has the disadvantage of limited privacy. After the first year on campus, a second-year student’s academic demands intensify. Academic writing, which requires intense focus, becomes a norm for students, and students need study space. Essay writing can be very challenging for students, and most students have adopted buy essay cheap services to help them through this endeavor. However, the privacy of having a quiet reading time may be compromised since it is difficult to escape the buzz and noise when students must concentrate on their studies.

Less freedom

For a large population, rules and policies must be adopted to maintain the order of activities within a space. Dorms are coupled with stringent rules that must be adhered to by the students. This may reduce the freedom of activities and limit dorm operations. For example, some dorms have regulations that prohibit cooking within the premises. This may be quite challenging for students with a cooking hobby, limiting their freedom of living.

Pros of renting an apartment


Independence is a remarkable trait for a student and is vital, especially in the ‘outside world.’ The college experience bridges students from teenagers to adults who can easily fend for themselves. Apartment rentals for students allow them to acquire independence and work towards their goals.

Renting an apartment allows students to learn how to organize themselves and awards more responsibilities to them. It also allows students to learn more about themselves and successfully create a lifestyle best suited for them.


If you seek privacy, apartment living is the best student for you. Having your studio or shared apartment allows students to have space where they can easily do their work without being distracted. Apartment living also allows students to focus on academics with minimal noise and distractions from friends. Students living in apartments do not have to seek solace in libraries or study spaces to do their work since they can create their own haven in their rooms.

More freedom

Living in an apartment can be quite liberating and effective for a student. The school environment has many rules that students should abide by, and most students seek an environment that is liberating without stringent rules.

Students living in apartments have the advantage of experiencing life outside their campus. Apartments also allow students to personalize their spaces to their desire and have roommates to share the space and expenses.

Cons of renting an apartment

Increased travel time and distance

Renting an apartment would require a student to live off-campus. Due to the increased distance between the school and the apartment, students would be forced to make arrangements on how to attend school. Sometimes, the apartments may not be too far from the campus, and students must wake up early and walk to their classes. However, some apartments are located at a significant distance from the school. Students would, therefore, be forced to include transport fees in their expenses, making apartment living more expensive.


Regarding the freedom, privacy, and independence, apartment living may be attractive. However, it is a pity that most students lack a clue of where their off-campus colleagues reside. The isolation in apartment living can be very dangerous regarding accidents and sickness.

Students living in apartments are also isolated from other students, thus reducing their interaction with other students. The students may miss school events and lack a sense of belonging with their peers.


Selecting a student accommodation option can be challenging. Before making the decision, students must ensure they are well-versed in the advantages and disadvantages of living in apartments and dorms. Moreover, student welfare programs assist students in determining the best option for them.

Conventionally, dorms are considered more expensive than apartments, but as shown in the article, this notion depends on several factors. With the key factors of choosing between on-campus or off-campus living, students can effectively make an informed decision and acquire the best for themselves.

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