The first lesson college students and their parents need to learn: Off-campus housing costs may not be exactly what schools estimate on their websites. But on-campus living (dorms) may still be more expensive.
In a year, current high school seniors will head to college. Many will live on their own for the first time in either an on-campus dorm or an off-campus apartment, both of which will likely cost a pretty penny. So as students and their parents crunch the numbers on financial aid and student loans, they should also factor in cost of housing from the get go.
Apartment Living Often Cheaper
Even though colleges don’t do a good job assessing off-campus housing costs, Trulia did find that it is often cheaper to rent an apartment off-campus than in university housing. In 15 of the 20 examples, on-campus housing was more expensive than if a student shared a two bedroom apartment off-campus. In some cases, on-campus dorms were way more expensive.
Excerpts - Business Insider