Living On Campus vs. Off Campus Calculator

One of the many big decisions college-bound students face is whether to live on campus, off-campus, or at home. Many schools require students to live on-campus for the first year or two. However, unless your school requires students to live on-campus for all four years, at some point all students will need to weigh the costs of where they live. Many factors contribute to the affordability of living on or off-campus including the cost of living in the area, availability of public transportation, and more. This calculator will help you get a better idea of the costs associated with living on campus, off-campus, and at home, so you can choose which makes the most sense for you.

Pros and Cons of Living On Campus vs. Off Campus

Living on-campus is a great option, especially as a first-year student—which is why many colleges require it for at least a year or two. Living on campus means all of your utilities are paid for (gas, electric, trash, internet, etc.), and that you have a dining hall available for all your meals. As a bonus, you’ll live in the same building as dozens of other students, making for plenty of opportunities for socializing. However, room and board can often be costly, and oftentimes meal plans are underutilized. Living off-campus means you’ll be paying for utilities, groceries, rent, and maybe even a parking permit and other auto expenses—however, when you compare it to the total cost of room and board, you could actually save money.

Next Steps

A big part of living off-campus is becoming responsible for your own bills. Fifth Third can help you get your financial life started with our Student Checking Account. Questions? Schedule an appointment or visit a Fifth Third Branch

Additional Resources

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