On-campus vs. off-campus housing

By Sarah Fielder
Staff writer

This year, more students at the University of Maryland will apply to live in dorms than there are available beds, according to this university’s Department of Resident Life.

Students looking to stay on the campus must take part in the room selection process. For on-campus room selection, Resident Life assigns each student a priority number. Students must then create a list of buildings they would like to live in on the campus and submit it to the Department of Resident Life website. Housing selection began April 13 for students staying on the campus. There are 8,900 beds in university dorms, and an additional 2,984 beds in the South Campus Commons and Courtyards, which are university-affiliated apartments.

Freshman public health science major Nicole Cherubet is planning to live on South Campus with friends during the fall 2016 semester.

“I think it’s kind of confusing the way they go about how we’re supposed to do our preference based on priority numbers,” Cherubet said. “If I had to make one thing easier, it would be how you go shopping and how make your groups. So an updated website that is easier to use and understand.”

However, many students move off campus after their freshman year.

“Many students going into their junior year may be looking off campus because Resident Life has limited capacity to house upperclassmen in our on-campus residence halls,” wrote Kelly Ridings , the manager for Housing Partnerships for Off-Campus Housing Services, in an email.

“For other students, I think they seek a variety of things offered by off campus housing — they see it as an opportunity for more independent living and more privacy,” she said.

University View community assistant Katherine Foote said students who are struggling financially should make sure their FASFA application is accurate and consider their priorities in terms of location, privacy and how new the building is.

“I think many students do their budget after they have picked housing, rather than the other way around,” Foote said. “You should figure out what your budget is and then find housing that fits within your budget, so you don’t commit yourself to something that is out of your range.”

Students can learn more about off-campus housing opportunities by going to the Off-Campus Housing Services website. The website offers an online database that searches available housing listings and another that helps students find roommates.

Apartments in the two View buildings on Route 1 cost between $859 and $969 a month per person, Foote said.

Both buildings include amenities such as study rooms, fitness centers, walk-in closets, TVs, cable and tanning beds, Foote said.

The buildings share a path that leads toward the campus.

The Varsity is an apartment complex located next to the University View. These apartments start at $949 a month per person, according to The Varsity’s website. Both The Varsity and The University View have a bus stop that provides transportation to the campus for residents.

Sophomore computer science major Mikhail Sorokin plans to live in the View next year.

“It has good proximity to my classes, proximity to Eppley gym, and doesn’t cost too much,” Sorokin said.

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