There are some clear benefits to choosing an off-campus lifestyle.
First and foremost, most off-campus living options cost less than living in the dorms. Renting a 1, 2 or 3 bedroom apartment in Blacksburg, VA with multiple people is also a less expensive alternative to on-campus housing.
Off-campus living eliminates the expense of a food plan as well, which can cost far more than shopping at a super market.
While off-campus living is relatively less expensive and provides more individual freedom and space than on-campus options, not all situations are the same. First year students may feel like they are not receiving the social benefits that dorms usually provide. Or, conversely, if you have many friends living off campus, you will spend a lot of time trekking back and forth between the dorms and apartments.
On-campus housing may provide more convenience for some students, but living off-campus prepares students for life after college, as it prompts them to understand leasing agreements, cook their own meals and budget out monthly expenses.
While living on-campus is something every traditional incoming student should experience, experimenting with housing options isn’t a bad idea. There’s nothing wrong with students staying in the dorms after their first year, but it’s also a good idea for students to consider transitioning into a different living environment and give off-campus apartments a chance.