Off-Campus vs On-Campus Dorm Living Pros & Cons

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Living on-campus vs living off-campus in Atlanta can be a difficult decision to make.

At The Mix, we know that there are pluses and minuses when choosing to live on or off-campus, but in our opinion, choosing a great temporary home away from home comes down to what works best for you.


Why Where You Live in Atlanta Matters

Where you rent an apartment while you attend Georgia State in Atlanta is a big decision. Your temporary home will be your hub: where you study, make friends, commute to and from classes, and essentially serve as your support while you’re getting your college degree. Choosing the right apartment in which to live can save you money, time, and stress while you work to attain this larger goal.

What’s the Best Student Housing in Atlanta? On-Campus or Off-Campus?

Choosing an off-campus or on-campus residence or dorm comes down to your specific needs as a student. Do you need something close to a particular part of the campus? Do you need access to sports events, social outings, and your friends? Is the cost of living most important to you? Everyone has different needs. With that in mind, here are the positives and negatives regarding on-campus vs off-campus living:

Off-Campus: The Potential Positives

Living off-campus allows the most flexibility in the type of apartment or home you lease. You and your besties can rent a 5-bedroom house and split the costs of late-night parties, rent, and groceries. One perk of living off-campus is that you won’t have restrictive curfews or other rules that are often enforced at dorms and many on-campus housing options.

You could also save more money with off-campus housing. Many apartment complexes located near campus are very favorably priced compared to dorms and on-campus housing. Some have multiple-room apartments you can still share rent on.

Many apartments are located at key locations that are close to on-campus parking too, so you can park at home and avoid paying high parking fees. There are 9,000 parking spaces spread across the downtown Georgia State parking lots, but you’ll pay handsomely for them.

Off-Campus: The Potential Negatives

Most college students are young adults, but there’s a wide range of ages at Georgia State:

Over half the student population is aged 18 to 24 at Georgia State. Most university students renting off-campus are in a different stage of life and might prefer frat parties, loud music, and beer bongs as opposed to quiet nights studying at home.

If you find a student-friendly apartment complex, however, you’ll be among people in the same age group, most of the time with similar interests.

On-Campus: The Perks

Most on-campus dorm rooms are furnished. You can give them a personal touch with an inexpensive interior design job with peel-and-stick wallpaper or DIY wall art, so they don’t feel so drab and impersonal, to save a ton of money. An apartment can cost between $4000 and $6500 to furnish. Of course, there are ways to spruce up off-campus apartments on a budget too, but it’s likely going to cost a few more dollars.

On-campus housing is usually super close to Georgia State, but your residence hall may not be anywhere near the building that you will most often frequent. If you happen to get lucky enough to find a dorm or residence hall that’s right next to the art building and that’s your major, consider this a big triumph. You’ll save both time and money not having to drive, find expensive university parking, and pay for the cost of gas and car maintenance.

On-campus housing often has student-centric events that are hosted by GSU. If you’re brand new to campus, this can be a great way to meet new people so you don’t feel so alone away from home in your first year of college.

On-Campus: The Drawbacks

On-campus housing can be quite expensive. The average Georgia State student spent $11,090 for housing and $3,868 for on-campus dining in 2020, but some spent more.

Universities know that people will pay to ensure that their college-aged kids will be safe. Once you add up the costs for housing, food, books, lab fees, and more, your college attendance bill can really add up, so finding affordable, quality housing while at school is truly important.

The Mix for Off-Campus Student Housing in Atlanta, GA

The Mix has student housing that ranges from one to four bedrooms and takes the guesswork out of deciding to live on-campus or off-campus. With amenities like high-speed internet, close proximity to the campus, an on-site gym, and more, you’re home away from home while at GSU is ready.