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Still Looking for Off-Campus Housing?

The further along you get in your college years, the more you realize that the old adage, that “high school is preparing you for college,” is complete and utter bullshit. A prime example of why this is the case is finding an off-campus apartment to live in after your freshman year.

Apartment hunting in State College is a daunting and often frustrating task. The market is cornered by a few companies who don’t always promote and advertise well, don’t always have any more information then you do about what is available–and of course, the camping-out process that a few companies do little to discourage can be more than maddening. We haven’t even got to the the stressful parts: watching the calender, wondering when the phone call or e-mail will come letting you know what apartment you have secured, if any, and whether or not you received your top choice.

And the process begins so early each year, before many students have the time to figure out where they want to live. If it’s difficult now, imagine how it must be for the students who get shut out of on-campus housing, and don’t find out until they’re way behind in the game?

But have no fear, because Onward State is here to provide you with the necessary tools for late apartment hunting if you don’t get the pick of the lot, or help you at the beginning of your journey if you have yet to apply.

  • StateCollege.com Apartment Finder:  For full disclosure, SC.com is our sister site, but their apartment finder is one of the best on the net. By following the link, users can sort by move-in date, max price, number of bedrooms, and whether you are looking for an apartment or condo or a house to rent. Users can also sort by company. One of the great features of the apartment finder is the ability to choose between apartment or house, as an actual house is option many students aren’t aware of, or if they are, aren’t sure where to search for them. The apartment finder combines all of the options in to one convenient tool.
  • Craigslist: All jokes aside, Craigslist can be a great tool for housing hunters who are late to the application party and don’t have many options. Our own Dan McCool used Craigslist to find his apartment, and there are many options from companies and personally owned renters alike. As with the StateCollege.com apartment finder, users can sort for their specific needs, and it may even help you find a roommate to lower the cost!
  • Company Websites: Mostly all the rental agencies in State College offer classified information on their website, as well as virtual tours or floor plans of their respective buildings. A.W. & Sons offers classified listings for roommates and subletting on their homepage, while ARPM offers a list of all their open rooms and houses with an option to search based on your needs. GN Associates Reality offers classifieds on their website, although for available apartments you’d be better off giving them a call as their student housing link does not load. The Apartment Store offers a FAQ page for Future Residence, as well as their available listings. Westside Village has a great directory that includes details for all the available units.
  • Penn State Off-Campus Housing Fair: This Saturday, on October 22nd, the Penn State Off-Campus Housing Fair will be held in the HUB in Alumni Hall. No leases can be signed at the event, but students can talk to representatives from all the real estate agencies in State College and get more information, see floor plans, and get quotes on what is available for their respective buildings.
  • Reviews: Who doesn’t like to know all the dirty secrets about where they might be living? Though you can probably find them in class, Apartment Ratings offers a wide variety of reviews for most of the apartments in State College.

There are plenty of tools and places to learn about where you can find off-campus housing for the upcoming year, and we want to hear your favorite tools, your horror stories in the application process, and how you found your housing!

About the Author

Greg Pickel

Content Contributor for all things Penn State and member of the Pennsylvania Sports Network.

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