Dorms vs. Apartments
In need of a dorm or apartment? We know how difficult of a move this can be to make, so we’ve written this guide to help clear any confusion. New York City is a dynamic city to live in as student, and we want to make sure you have the right knowledge to navigate the […]
In need of a dorm or apartment? We know how difficult of a move this can be to make, so we’ve written this guide to help clear any confusion. New York City is a dynamic city to live in as student, and we want to make sure you have the right knowledge to navigate the real estate market.
Privacy & Sharing
Privacy is the first major difference in apartments and dorms. In a typical apartment, each tenant has a room, bathrooms are shared privately, and the lack of university rules offer a greater degree of freedom (no guest sign-ins). Apartment buildings do not have university Resident Advisors on every floor, which is something you should consider. Living in an apartment offers you greater independence, however living on campus offers unique opportunities to immerse yourself in your university’s culture.
Unless you’re a college senior, you’re probably sharing the kitchen with at least 5 other people. Depending on which university you attend, that kitchen may be limited in appliances and space. Off-campus apartments come equipped with your own bathroom, kitchen and bedroom.
For first year students, roommates in university dorms are usually selected at random by the university. After the first year, students are able to select their preferred roommates, however their selection may not be guaranteed.
In apartments, you have the freedom to choose who to live with. Keep in mind that co-signing a lease with someone is a significant financial decision compared to living together in a dorm, so be sure to choose a roommate you know and trust.
Amenities and Cost
School proximity, campus services, and an immersive student environment make living on campus a safe decision for many first year students. For example, you can expect to have easy access to a cafeteria, library, student union, and much more. Dorms can be especially affordable for students receiving financial aid, so be sure to determine with your school what dormitory fees you would be charged.
While on-campus apartments offer many perks, most universities have strict rules their residents must follow. For example, most universities will not allow you to have electronics or appliances they consider fire hazards – this includes seemingly harmless things such as holiday lights and countertop toasters.
Living off-campus offers greater freedom to choose what appliances and electronics you want in your home. Furthermore, apartments may include useful appliances such as a dishwasher and washer/dryer, which campuses do not offer inside the dorms.
Benefits of living on-campus:
- No need for a morning commute since you are on campus.
- The lack of in-house laundry during the winter can be inconvenient.
- The commute back and forth to the school library wears you out.
- Proximity to school resources and institutions.
- Avoiding the morning commute (granted you’re not a night owl).
- Immersive student environment.
Benefits of living off-campus:
- Customize your own space, including furniture and appliances.
- Host parties & dinners.
- Invite your friends and their pets!
- Choose the neighborhood that suits you.
- More eating options.
- Ability to host family & friends when they visit.