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Sometimes choosing whether to live on or off campus is more difficult than choosing which college to attend. Just like the debates you had regarding each college you planned on attending and how it best served you, equal consideration should be given to your housing choice. Let us help you get the facts straight.


Roommates & Privacy


  • Easy to socialize with your floor mates allows you to maintain a social circle in your college community almost effortlessly!
  • You will most likely have to share a bedroom and a bathroom with at least one other person.
  • Communal living room that is shared amongst 5-8 students.
  • You and your peers are constantly within close proximity to one another.


  • Much more privacy. You will have your own bedroom, and your own bathroom!

  • Choose your roommates.

  • The option to have more than 1 tenant in a room in order to split the costs of the apartment.

  • You will be living in a building where you will most likely not know every single person you run into.

  • Your neighbors will come from a variety of different age groups and lifestyles, which typically results in a much quieter environment.

Amenities & Services


  • Your dorm will have an RA (Resident Advisor) who you can reach out to for any kind of support or information.

  • Utilities and furniture are always included in dorms and you will be provided with amenities such as a refrigerator, couches, a bed, internet, and other utilities.

  • Most college dorms provide their students with a meal plan, which is a convenient and easily accessible option for students.


  • You will have to provide your own bathroom and kitchen essentials.

  • Utilities are not included in the normal rate.

  • Many apartments have a washer and dryer included, while dorms have communal pay per use machines.

  • Not included, but you can decide to choose whichever cleaning services you like.

Rules & Regulations / Independence


  • Dorms are constantly monitored by RA's, which act as parental figures in regards to your activities.

  • Most dorms have mandatory quiet hours for all students, which can conflict with people who do a lot of their work late at night.

  • You will have to accept the fact that most dorms prohibit certain appliances such as personal microwaves, certain musical instruments and even lava lamps. You can also forget about getting a pet.


  • The leisure of not having a RA who monitors your daily activities.

  • Furniture is not provided, but you have the luxury of personalizing your home in any way you see fit!

  • Much more freedom in choosing what to do with your living space. Whether that includes hosting dinner parties, playing a musical instrument, or getting a dog, you will have a much more liberated lifestyle.

  • You will have a landlord, who will not be involved in your activities such as a resident advisor.

  • An apartment requires that you sign and abide to a lease agreement.

  • Apartments do not have late night quiet hours that you need to abide by. However, you should still be considerate to your neighbors and your lease agreement.



  • Limited housing options and locations as most residences are in close proximity to campus.

  • Most students who live on campus live in a single, double, or triple apartment with a communal living room. Lofts, and two-story apartments are rare.

  • Meal plans are convenient, but provide limited dining options. 


  • Pick a neighborhood that is best suited to you. Check out our Neighborhood Guides to help you choose the perfect location!

  • Many more types of housing and variety of locations to pick whichever one is best suited for you.

  • Housing rates will also have more options. NYC is massive and offers more housing rate options.



  • Dorm living is typically the more expensive option for students, as dorms provide you with invaluable utilities and services. In addition, they also have far fewer housing options and rates to choose from relative to apartment listings. Here are several examples of the most recent housing rates at New York University for a single academic year:

    • Manhattan dorms (First year students): $10,000-$18,000

    • Brooklyn dorms (First year students):

    • General undergraduate dorms:

    • Manhattan dorms (Graduate students): $15,000-$27,000


  • Making the transition to off campus living is typically the cheaper option. As dorm selections are severely limited, choosing a reasonably priced apartment can be seamless. Also, you will have the option of living with roommates to split the cost of rent and utilities! Here are a few examples of average apartment rates:

    • 1 bedroom: $2500

    • 2 bedroom: $3500/month

    • 3 bedroom: $4500/month

    • Studio: $2200/month