You’re finally a junior, and you can officially move off campus! Woohoo! But, wait. How is off-campus living different than on-campus living? What are your options if you want to live off-campus? Here is the inside scoop on everything that can help you make your decision.
On-Campus Living: What are your options?
- Suite style housing- Two rooms are connected with a shared bathroom. Each room could have one or two people living in it. Both males and females live on the same floor but not in the same suite. Washers and dryers are located on each floor.
- Community style housing- You can live by yourself or with one roommate. You share a bathroom with everyone on the floor, and they are located in the middle of both hallways. Only one gender lives on each floor. Washers and dryers are located on the bottom floor and shared with the whole building.
- Greek housing- If you have joined a Greek organization, then you can live in their dedicated on-campus housing. These are all community-style housing, and only people in your organization can live there. The fraternity mansions are included in this.
Off-Campus Living: What are your options?
- Apartment Complexes- There are a few different apartment complexes in the area that you can choose from. The two main ones that are close to campus are Legends and Cape Trails. Each of these offers private units - two people per unit, or four people per unit. In each style, you have your own bedroom and bathroom with a kitchen, living room, and washer and dryer.
- Important to note - Don't forget to clarify the rules of your lease!
- Renting a house- There are many houses available to rent each school year. There’s a variety of options available, with differing floor plans and the number of roommates. These also vary in distance from campus.
- Important to note - Move into a rental house with the amount of people you want to share the cost of the rent with. The landlord will not place anyone with you, so your rent could vary depending on if your roommates decide to move out.
Pros of On-Campus living
- All your best friends are less than a mile away. It is so much fun! You don't have to drive to hang out with your friends.
- It is super convenient to walk to class instead of fighting for a parking spot.
- When you have clubs and events in the evening, it is nice to not worry about if you have enough time to go home before it.
- If you’re not a fan of cooking, it’s a huge pro to have a meal plan. On the other hand, each building has a kitchen with pots and pans that you can use, so you can still cook if you choose to.
- You don’t have to worry about getting a parent or someone else to co-sign on your lease.
- There are different payment plans available, and Student Financial Services is available to answer any questions about cost.
- You don’t have to worry about if your roommate pays their rent or not.
- You can change rooms easily.
Cons of On-Campus Living
- No candles, air fryers, or toasters are allowed in the dorms.
- You are required to have some kind of meal plan, even if you wish to cook all of your meals.
- No matter what building style you choose, community or suite, you still have to share a bathroom with someone else.
- In order to stay over summer break, you have to pay an additional fee.
- There is limited space in the dorm rooms.
- You have to follow quiet hour rules; on the other hand, you might encounter neighbors that are not following the rules.
Pros of Off-Campus Living
- There are many different options for you to choose from with high flexibility. This makes you likely to find an option that fits you perfectly.
- You can find plenty of options that allow pets.
- For apartments, the lease typically goes from August into the end of June. So, you can stay in Cape Girardeau longer if you need to for a job. When renting a house, you can negotiate any time period that fits your needs.
- For apartments, your monthly rent goes down if you resign to live there for multiple years.
- You can easily cook your own meals.
- If you live in a house, there are no quiet hours.
- The apartment complexes have their own pools and gyms on site, and they throw fun events with free food.
- If you have leftover financial aid/ scholarships, it can help to pay for your rent.
- You can invite more of your friends over because it is a larger space.
Cons of Off-Campus Living
- You might not get offered as many scholarships because you will have fewer expenses through Student Financial Services.
- You always have to drive to class.
- Bad weather might prevent you from getting to class.
- Depending on where you live, you might have to pay extra for Wi-Fi and utilities.
- If you need to find a roommate, there are fewer resources available to help you find one.
- It can be difficult at times to get in contact with management when you have issues.
- It is harder to break your lease if you decide to live somewhere else.
- You will most likely be required to have someone co-sign your lease.
As you can see, there are many things to consider when deciding where to live during your time at SEMO.
There is no one-size-fits-all housing option. It is important to take all of the factors into consideration and determine what your “must-haves” are. You can always contact The Office of Residence Life if you have questions!