Students ponder costs of college housing

Every spring semester, the hunt for housing begins. Apartments are looked at, leases are signed and roommates are picked. The students choosing to live off campus are in a scramble mid-January to figure out where they are going to live in August.

Students choosing to live on campus have until April, but the stress is just the same. Will they find an open suite to live with all of their friends? Will they have to get a random roommate?

This stress increased because everyone knows that who they live with and where can determine a lot about how the next year is going to go.

Ashley Callan / Castleton Spartan

"The Whites" apartments are just one of the many off-campus options for students

But what about the financial side of it?

Many students are surprised to find that it can be cheaper to live off campus – even for in-state students.

“I print an example and calculate how much aid will cover if the student lives off campus. It depends on a lot of things, but often it can end with a refund check to put toward rent,” said Jennifer Woodell, a consultant in the Financial and Registration office.

Though some students will save money, others will not. Junior Stephanie Knight will not.

“There are just a lot of factors that contribute to it. I have a hard course load so I don’t have time for a job off campus, which will make it hard to buy groceries. I also don’t have a car, so it’s just easier and less stressful for me to live on campus,” Knight said.

Woodell also stressed that it is safer for students to live on campus, stating that when the weather is bad, there is no danger of a car crash if there is no commute.

Many students are surprised to learn that their financial aid does not change if they live off campus, but it varies per person. By taking the price of the residence hall off of the bill, it automatically reduces by $4,848 every semester.

Dilan Clements saves a substantial amount of money living off campus.

“I saved around $4,500 this year. It’s all about personal preference though and what your needs are. I know more people like just having everything covered on campus. There’s no month-to-month stress. There are pluses and minuses to both,” Clements said.

Katie Robinson always thought it would be beneficial for her to live on campus, but found out otherwise this semester.

“A couple of my friends influenced me to go to the financial aid office and check out how much my refund check would be if I decided to live off campus. The financial aid lady calculated how much money I would get back depending on the amount of aid I received this year. Turns out I have more than enough to live in an apartment!” Robinson said with a smile.

Though it varies person to person, Woodell encourages people to check it out.

“It’s a personal decision for everyone, but everyone should do the math. It’s worth checking out,” Woodell said.


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