On. vs. Off Campus Housing

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 at 10:18 PM
On. vs. Off Campus Housing by Karlee Dies

Making the decision to go to college is a difficult one for some students. Even more difficult is deciding whether you will be living on or off campus during your college career.

According to a study conducted by the Iowa State University Department of Residence in 2011, freshmen who lived on campus during the first year of college had a higher graduation rate and return rate compared with off campus students. Further research has shown that students on campus have a GPA between .03 to .09 points higher than their peers who live off campus. On the other side, arguments are made that living off campus will provide students with more responsibility, help them eat healthier, and more.

At Edinboro, the list of options is not limited and can be confusing for some.

Some students may decide that living on campus is the best route for them. On campus, the Highlands and Rose are the dormitory options. The prices vary depending on the student’s needs. See graphic. The only additional costs are meal plans and personal needs. All housing on campus includes free internet service and cable TV.

“Students will sometimes ask why we have a two year housing requirement, and there’s an educational piece to that,” Director of Residence Life and Housing Amy Franklin-Kraft said. She continued to say that she believes “students perform better, are more likely to graduate in four years, are more likely to have higher grade point averages, and to be satisfied with their college experience when they live on campus.”

A recent survey of approximately 250 Edinboro students (randomly selected, conducted by Spectator staff) shows that about 33 percent of students in both living situations have a GPA ranging from 3.00 to 3.50. About 24 percent of off campus students have a GPA of 2.50 to 3.00. On campus, about 23 percent of students are in that range. About 13.8 percent of off campus students have a GPA below 2.50. On campus, it’s 13.4 percent. The survey did show that on campus students were slightly more likely to have a 3.50 to 4.00 GPA.

If living on campus isn’t of interest, there are several off-campus options for students to choose from. Darrow and College Park, both located along Darrow Road, are within walking distance of Edinboro’s campus. The options vary by what the students want — from studio to several students living together — but they are furnished.

There are some expenses though. Cable is not included in the fee. Most apartments include water, sewer, garbage, electric and heat, but a few of the apartments do not include electric. In this case, students have to put the electric in their own name. Laundry is another expense. There are on-site coin operated laundry facilities that students can use for $1.50 per load.

Benefits include free parking, a fitness room in community centers, on-site full-time maintenance and on-site security from Thursday through Sunday night. Additionally, Darrow and College Park do not require the student’s parents to be financially responsible. It is a lease agreement between the student, their roommates and Darrow or College Park.

“We’re thousands of dollars cheaper than on campus and we don’t require the meal plan so for someone moving off campus, they could potentially save about $4,000 a semester, which is $4,000 that they don’t have to pay back when they graduate,” said manager Melanie Brewer of James Properties.

“We have the nicest, closest apartments to campus. The security is a huge deal and it’s a super safe community [already], but it’s just nice knowing that someone’s out there monitoring. [You’re] saving money with parking permits too because parking is free here. You can save a ton of money living off campus. And [you can] eat healthier and feel better.”

Additionally, at the end of each semester, students are required to have the carpets cleaned and may have to pay for paint touch-ups or damages in the apartment.

According to Brewer, they sell out every year.

Another potential option are the Therasse Rentals and others in town. Therasse offers one bedroom, two bedroom, three bedroom, houses and studio units. Some expenses depend on the unit, but it could mean the cost of utilities may be dependent on you. Like at College Park and Darrow, meal plans are not required here or at any other off campus option.

Other options may include various off campus housing throughout Edinboro in apartments and houses owned by locals. The prices vary. Students might visit sites like Craigslist to find those prices.

When deciding to move to college, choosing on or off campus can be an even more daunting task. Figuring out what you want and what works best and caters to your needs is a huge part of the process.

After breaking it down and considering your options, it makes that decision much easier. The great debate of on or off has been presented. It’s up to you to decide which works best to make you feel at home.

Karlee Dies is the Managing Editor of News for The Spectator.

Additional Photos:

 This is based on a survey of about 250 random students conducted by the Spectator staff.

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