As housing prices increase both in the Los Angeles area and here at Azusa Pacific, will students prefer to live on or off campus?

As the deadline for housing applications approaches on April 28th, students are having to decide whether or not they will be living on campus for either the summer and/or the upcoming fall semester. 

Choosing where to live during your university years is a significant decision that can greatly impact your overall college experience. Many students grapple with the choice between living on-campus, within the confines of university-managed housing or off-campus, in independently chosen accommodations. Each option comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, catering to different preferences, priorities, and lifestyles. 

Deciding where to live is not an easy decision, especially with an increase in rates both on and off campus. If you are planning to live on campus, the cheapest options students have are $3,002 a semester for the residence halls, $3,130 for the Shire Mods and $3,322 for University Village. 

While these rates have greatly increased, students like Keierra Nunez ‘24 still prefer to live on campus because the semester rates are still cheaper than paying over $1,000 a month in rent. 

She also noted the convenience that comes with living on campus, “one of the primary benefits of living on campus is the convenience it offers. You’re just a short walk away from classes, the library, dining halls, and other campus facilities. This proximity can save you time and hassle, especially during hectic academic periods.”

On-campus living often fosters a sense of community and belonging as well. You’re surrounded by fellow students, making it easier to form friendships, join clubs and participate in campus events. The constant social interaction can enrich your university experience and create lifelong connections.

While it might be cheaper for students who do not have family nearby to live on campus, many commuters share the benefits of living with family and friends. 

Sara Posadas ‘24 shares her experience as a commuter for the past four years. When asked what the best part of being a commuter student is, Sara states that it is “having a better school and life balance.” She enjoys being able to come to campus and focus on her work and then ending the day off with her family at home. 

Being able to go home to your family after classes is not something that students who live on campus get to experience. Sara says that her decision to commute was largely grounded on this while also considering the extra expenses that come with living on campus. 

Sharing living spaces such as dorm rooms or communal bathrooms means sacrificing some degree of privacy. It can be challenging to find quiet study spaces or have personal time away from the constant presence of roommates and neighbors. 

Living on campus may come with restrictions on personal space, noise levels, guest policies and other rules set by the university. This can limit your independence and autonomy compared to living off-campus where you have more control over your living environment.

Ultimately, the decision between living on campus or off-campus during university depends on your individual preferences, priorities and circumstances. Consider factors such as cost, convenience, social opportunities and personal preferences to determine which option aligns best with your academic and lifestyle goals. 

Whether you choose the camaraderie of on-campus living or the independence of off-campus living, each offers its own unique advantages and challenges that contribute to the rich tapestry of the university experience.