The Off-Campus Move
High school students take a huge step toward independence when they move out of the house, onto campus and into new lives as college students. And Nebraska Wesleyan makes sure they find many supports throughout that transition.
But what about when they move off campus? For many college students, signing that first lease is their first act in living “without a net.” Here are things for students and parents to keep in mind when considering a move off campus.
It’s not all bad
As a residential liberal arts university, NWU believes very much in the benefits of living on campus for four years. Our student housing options are geared to give students more choices and greater independence on campus as they progress as undergraduates. Still, for some, moving off campus as juniors or seniors makes real sense.
Location, location, location
In choosing an off campus apartment, students must remember that they will still spend a good deal of time on campus. How close is the apartment to campus? How will that commute feel before an 8:00 class—or after a late night at the library? Is the neighborhood safe? How about access to things like groceries?
Know the costs
Many students are caught off guard by the costs of living off campus. Rent is one thing. But have they considered deposits, utilities, parking, garbage and the like? What about renters’ insurance? These things can affect affordability as much as rent.
Locate the exits
Complicated leases intimidate many first time renters. Students don’t always know their rights or understand what they are signing. Students who are excited about getting into a house or apartment must also be cognizant of how they will get out of it when the time comes. How long do they plan to live there? Many conflicts arise when 12-month leases strike nine-month academic calendars.
Roommates and joint leases are other complications. Who is ultimately responsible to the property owner? How will roommates handle potential conflicts? The things that make for a good roommate in Centennial Hall may not translate in an apartment. Once students sign that lease, they’re business partners too.
Be sure to talk through these concerns and benefits before signing that bottom line.