The great migration

    Ask any Northwestern upperclass­man about moving off-campus and the response is usually a mixture of annoyed groans and hair pulling. Even after working around friends’ study abroad plans and tracking down a place with the most reasonable rent, students still find themselves dealing with difficult landlords and skirting around Evan­ston’s notorious brothel law. But do Wildcats really have it that bad com­pared to our peers at other schools? We searched for some of the perks and pitfalls of off-campus living at other colleges around the country.


    Anyone who expects to score a decently priced pad in New York City that isn’t on Craigslist post with questionable demands should be wary of off-campus living at Colum­bia University. With average rent for a studio apartment at ranging from $1,100 to $1,900 a month, it should come as no surprise that only about 6 percent of its students decide to forgo the comfort of the university’s Upper Manhattan campus.

    “Come on—it’s NYC—remem­ber you are not living in the Mid­west,” reads an anonymous post by a Columbia junior on the college review site, College Prowler. “Every­thing here is more expensive—es­pecially housing.”

    Prices aren’t very encouraging on the West Coast either. Only 9 percent of Stanford University stu­dents are willing to shell out the average rent of $1,000 on a studio near the school.


    If students at Brown University, Hamilton College and Middlebury are feeling lucky, they can try their hands at entering lotteries to live off-campus.

    As rising juniors, Brown stu­dents apply to enter a drawing for permission to move off-campus. This off-campus status applies for the rest of their time at Brown and is always guaranteed for seniors.

    Hamilton’s lottery is particularly selective and only applies to sen­iors. Only about 40 of the college’s 2,000-person student body are given permission to stray from the Clinton, N.Y., campus. Middlebury’s lottery is only slightly more accom­modating, allowing 60 out of 2,500 students to live off-campus.

    Review Process

    For the more risk-averse, there’s always the option to apply to live off-campus through the housing office at College of the Holy Cross. Juniors and seniors are subjected to an ap­plication process based largely on the student’s disciplinary standing.

    Although the school assures students the policy is in place to simplify the apartment hunt for up­perclassmen, the student body’s re­action hasn’t been so positive.

    “Students have ‘NO RIGHTS’ when it comes to living off campus,” reads one anonymous post on the review site College Prowler. “Eve­ryone wanting to live off-campus is subjected to a review process which can take months, despite the fact all students are adults over adults over 18, Holy Cross treats them as children has stripped their rights away [sic].”

    Forced Out

    Although Northwestern doesn’t guarantee housing for all four years, it prides itself for never having turned away a student who wished to live on-campus. Students at Rice University are less fortunate. A three-year on-campus housing guarantee partnered with a push to accommodate all freshmen means sophomores and juniors often find themselves on their own.

    Boston College has a similar three-year housing policy in place, save for a select group of honors students. Many BC juniors live off-campus, then move back to campus for their senior year. “It helps the BC overcrowded-housing issue, but also allows local rent prices to be ridiculously jacked up due to the supply/demand curve,” a Boston College student posts on College Prowler.


    blog comments powered by Disqus
    Please read our Comment Policy.