The Decision: Pro/Cons of Moving Off-Campus

Have you thought about your housing decision for the next academic school year?


Should you remain on campus?


Should you consider moving off-campus?

Before making the commitment to sign your first apartment lease, we have created a pro/con list for things to consider as you decide to make the big step.




  • Independence. When living in a residence hall, students must abide by certain policies that are established by the University for the safety and well being of the residents.  Living off-campus provides freedom from some policies and allows students to set their own standards in line with community standards – Clemson students are responsible to our community standards whether they live on or off campus!


  • Responsibility. Signing a lease, paying rent and utilities, commuting to campus, cooking, and cleaning will help students develop responsibility. This responsibility will also begin to build the student’s rental history, hopefully in a positive way.


  • Cost. Depending on where students live in the surrounding area, sharing rent and utilities with several roommates and cooking for themselves may result in cost-savings.


  • Environment. Students who live off-campus often have non-student neighbors. This experience will provide students the opportunity to interact with many different types of people, such as working professionals, couples, families, and elderly.


  • Year-Round Housing. If students plan to stay in the Clemson area over the summer to work or take classes, already having an apartment will make that process much easier as residence hall assignments change over the summer.


  • Quieter Atmosphere. Being off-campus sometimes allows for a quieter atmosphere with fewer distractions for studying, as opposed to a residence hall where friends may feel like they can drop by anytime to visit.


  • Space. With an apartment comes more space, such as a larger bedroom or more storage space.  Some students may feel more comfortable with more personal space and the ability to study in their bedroom.



  • More Responsibility. Students will be responsible for paying bills on time, cooking for themselves, and most likely will have to handle roommate conflicts without assistance. Forgetting to pay bills on time could negatively impact the student’s credit and rental history


  • Cost. There is the possibility that the cost of living off-campus could equal to or be higher than the cost of living on-campus.  Students need to consider their portion of the rent, initial deposit, first and last month’s rent, cost of food, utilities, cable, Internet, furniture, and appliances, laundry costs and transportation to and from campus.


  • Staying Connected. Though the privacy of an apartment may be nice, students need to consider how isolated they may begin to feel without a community of student surrounding them.  These students will have to work harder to say engaged on-campus and with friends once they move off-campus.


  • Environment. While living next to non-student residents can be beneficial, students must remember that these neighbors may be less tolerant of some college student behaviors.  Students will have to be extremely mindful of who they live near.


  • Transportation. Students will need to consider how they plan to travel to and from campus.  They need to check the availability of public transportation to and from the University, look in to purchasing a commuter-parking pass, determine shuttle and bus routes, and/or determine if their apartment is in reasonable walking distance from the University, as well as what time of day they will be making their commute.


Ultimately, this decision is for you to make. To better support, below are additional housing resources with more specific information.

  • Check out Clemson’s on-campus Housing site here!
  • Check out our site for off-campus information/tips here!
  • Check out Clemson’s off-campus housing search site here!

We hope that you find this information useful, and that it will assist you in making your housing decision for the next academic year.

Happy Winter Break, and Go Tigers!

-Dean of Students Staff


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