The do’s and don’ts of student housing

Finding a good place to live near your campus can be daunting. 

For most student’s freshman and sometimes sophomore year they live in the dorms on campus. Living on campus in the dorms has many amenities like being so close to everything like classes, the dining hall and the library. It also gives residents a strong sense of involvement within the community as all your neighbors are likely freshmen as well and can be met through community activities. So what’s the catch? The price. Dorms are often expensive, especially compared to apartment rent. This is why students usually live in them for just a year or two.

After you’ve experienced the dorms it’s time to look for housing off campus. There are some things to consider like how you plan on getting to campus, how often you’re planning on going to campus and of course how much you’re willing to spend on housing.

Mankato offers several apartment properties near campus to students. University Square is the closest one to campus, which is nice if you need to go to campus often. But be ready to empty your pockets because you live directly above food places like “Chipotle,” “Noodles and Company,” and “Cold Stone.” Other solid apartments that are walking distance to campus include The Lofts, Highland Hills, The Edge, and Jacob Heights (if you want more of a townhome feel). Apartments like College Station (has 5-bedroom units), College Town (very active and busy community), and The Quarters (has an amazing pool area) are a little further away. You may need to drive to campus, but their amenities may be worth it to you.

It really just comes down to how often you need to go to campus and how much you’re willing to spend.

In my opinion, I would say Preska is the best dorm hall and The Summit/Jacob Heights is the best apartment property. It’s close to campus, has a good community, has frequent events in the clubhouse, and Kwik Trip is just a few steps away.

The process students go through when renting off campus is pretty easy. Start by doing some research and touring. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends or family for help/recommendations. Then, once you’ve picked an apartment and figured out your roommates, it’s time to sign a lease and move in. I would recommend signing individual leases instead of joint leases because if one of your roommates decides to move out early, you won’t have to worry about paying their rent.

Remember, the earlier you sign a lease, the cheaper it will be. Do not wait until the last minute to find roommates and/or sign a lease. Although I think it’s a good idea to take your time choosing a place to live and roommates (since you’ll be living there with them for at least a year) don’t take too much time.

Write to Jack Harding at jack.harding@mnsu.edu

Header Photo: Mankato offers several properties suitable for college students, but the process of renting can be difficult. Local property managers visited Minnesota State’s campus in the CSU Mav Ave Tuesday to inform and draw in potential tenants. (Davis Jensen/The Reporter)

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