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State College Off-Campus Housing

We here at Onward State have put together a little guide to finding your ideal apartment in State College.

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Whether or Not to Move Off-Campus

You’ll probably want to answer this question first — is it worth it for you to move off campus? A few weeks ago, we ran this piece on the things you’ll miss about living in the dorms. So, are you ready to take care of yourself? To clean your own bathroom, to make your own food? To actually pay bills?

You also might miss living in close quarters with all your friends — you can’t just walk down the hall to hang out with them living off-campus. One of the best things about living in the dorms is being around so many people you’ve grown to know, and it’s easy to see how you might lose touch with a lot of people if you don’t see them on a day-to-day basis.

What might be even more germane to your decision your parents’ decision are the cost considerations.

If, after all these considerations, you’ve decide ‘yes, I want to move off campus’, then proceed to the next section.


Choosing a Place

You’re going to want to figure out what you want out of your apartment. Do you want to live close to campus? Do you want to live in Beaver Canyon or somewhere else in the heart of downtown? Do you want to get away from all the commotion and live in the middle of nowhere?

In general, the high-traffic, downtown apartments (think Cedarbrook) as well as those located close to campus will be in high demand and will thus command higher prices. This also means that if you’re willing to live in a pretty remote location–say, all the way down on South Allen–you can probably get a nice apartment for a cheaper rent. Remember, people are going to be lining up for the apartments that everyone wants and not everyone will get a lease, so the highly demanded locations will probably command rather unreasonable prices and possibly the dedication of camping out.

A great resource for finding the perfect apartment is the off-campus housing directory on StateCollege.com. And if you’re willing to live with a random person or a possible axe murderer, there is always Craigslist.

NOTE: What is included in pricing (i.e. utilities, cable, internet) may vary among the listings. Again, some listings may be deceptively inexpensive.


Onward State’s Housing Partners

A Few Closing Comments

These apartments aren’t your only alternative to dorm living. There are other on-campus options, like Nittany Apartments or the (apparently) “insanely luxurious” Eastview Terrace.

There are plenty of houses available for rent too, but be aware of borough codes that limit the number of student tenants per unit. In addition, there are plenty of options outside the heart of State College — if you’re willing to live beyond walking distance of campus, you’ll have a plethora of options to choose from whether on North Atherton or even Bellefonte.

Additional Tips:

  • Set aside time each day. Never let the search for housing get in the way of your schoolwork, but designating a time period for searching and planning will help keep you moving without overwhelming you. It helps if this time is during business hours when you can call landlords and rental offices if necessary.
  • Stay open to new possibilities. College is all about unique new experiences, and this doesn’t stop after freshman year. Don’t write anything or anyone off too quickly.
  • At the same time, don’t settle. If a possible option is simply too expensive or the location is just way too far from your classes, don’t sign any agreement impulsively. There are always other options, so don’t commit to a living situation you’re wary about.

Adapted from articles by Bobby Chen and Claire Fountas.

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