Campus vs. Off Campus Housing


Before making the commitment to sign a lease for an apartment or pay to live on campus in the residential housing, Northern Kentucky University students should consider all the variables.

Some important factors that can be considered are price, convenience to and from campus and the social opportunities of living on campus. There are pros and cons to each option, but whichever one is the best for each individual student depends on individual priorities and preferences.

For many students, moving into a dorm is a way to gain some independence from their parents, and to develop a better social life on campus. But others say that they have managed to make living arrangements where they get the same advantages, just without the campus housing costs — by renting units in the various apartment complexes surrounding NKU.

Meadow View, Campus View and Hampton Farms are a few examples of apartment complexes that are within walking distance from NKU’s campus.

On campus, the cheapest housing option would be a double room in Kentucky Hall, costing $3,750 for the 2012-2013 academic year, according to the University Housing website. In the mentioned off-campus housing options, the price of a two-bedroom apartment split between two people is cheaper for each individual than the cheapest dorm option. Although this cost does not factor in the extra fees for water and electric, which can vary based on usage, and are included in on-campus housing.

Aside from the difference in the cost, some students find there are other benefits to renting a nearby apartment as opposed to living on campus as well.
Brook Perkins, a senior who lives in Campus View Apartments, said she enjoys the feeling of having more freedom and privacy than she would in a dorm.

“I just feel like I have a lot more personal space with an apartment,” Perkins said. “I get to have my own room. I’ve lived on NKU’s campus before, first in Norse Hall then in Woodcrest, and that’s the main thing I didn’t like — having to share a room with someone else.”

Blair Godshall, a senior who lives in Hampton Farms apartments, said she enjoys the peaceful and somewhat secluded environment that her complex offers.
“I find that it’s quieter here, so it’s easier for me to focus on studying and getting things done when I need to,” she said. “Also, I figure that living on campus would make me feel like I was always at school. Having an apartment offers more of an escape.”

Not everyone believes that renting an apartment is always the best choice for an NKU student. For some, an apartment complex just cannot give them everything that University Housing has to offer.

“I really enjoy living on campus, and I never considered living anywhere else,” said Eric Morsch, a senior who lives in Woodcrest Apartments.

“I think I would feel so much less connected and less involved on campus if I didn’t live here. When you live in housing, you’re a lot more likely to know about fun things that are going on. Plus, it’s so much easier just to be able to walk to class from your dorm, rather than to fight traffic just to get to campus.”

One other difference between an apartment and on-campus housing is the rule regarding alcohol. Drinking is strictly prohibited on NKU’s campus for all students, as outlined in the University’s Housing and Dining Agreement. With the exception of this regulation, Morsch said he does not think that housing policies are too restrictive toward the residents.

“I could see why you might have a problem living on campus if you’re a drinker, but I’m not too big into partying anyway,” he said. “I think housing still gives you the freedom to operate however you want, and be your own person.”

Although apartment complexes may not be completely alcohol and smoke free, that doesn’t necessarily mean that students who choose to live there will have unlimited freedom to party. Campus View Apartments, for example, have quiet hours after 10 p.m., and property manager Laurie Tobias said she does not tolerate anyone making too much noise after hours.

“I’d have to say we’re not too lenient on the late night partying here,” she said. “We find it to be disrespectful toward the other residents. A lot of our residents aren’t even college students, and they don’t want to be kept awake at night.”

Tobias said that there is a clubhouse in the complex that people can use to socialize and party, but it has to be evacuated by 2 a.m.

One resident at Meadow View Apartments, NKU junior Kaity Galanos, said that all things considered, she found that living in an apartment was the best choice for her.
“I chose to move off campus because after doing the math, I realized I would be saving over $4,000 a year,” she said. “I chose Meadow View Apartments because they were the cheapest apartments at the time I was looking for a place to live and its close proximity to campus is such a convenience.”

Galanos said despite living outside of University Housing, she still manages to remain involved on campus. “Even though I moved off campus this year, I am not worried about me feeling not as connected to school,” she said. “I’m involved with a few organizations and that helps keep me on campus for the majority of every day.”