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The Antelope

The Antelope

Students weigh pros, cons of off-campus housing

Photo by Alana Kellen

When students move away from home, most must make the decision of where to live as a semi-independent young adult. UNK students have two basic options, living on or off campus.

“I’d say if you’re living off campus that it’s best to be as close to campus as you can,” said Bailey Cox, a senior majoring in social work. “If you can find a house that’s a reasonable walking distance to campus then you’re set.”

One big priority for students living off campus could be the convenience of walking to class from their home. Two concerns student may have are being able to walk to class and finding a parking nearby.

“I think the biggest con for living off campus is that you don’t really want to pay for a parking pass, since you don’t live on campus anymore,” Cox said. “In return, it’s harder to find street parking that is relatively close to your class, besides that I love living off campus.”

Finances are also an aspect for college students to consider. The Kearney housing market presents multiple optios for students to choose from, including rentals.

“I am a renter off campus, and I legitimately think it is cheaper to live on campus,” said Trelana Daniel, the associate director of residence life.

To compare, the total cost for a student to live in Mantor Hall for a semester is $2,794. If this total is divided by four months, which is the length of a full semester, the cost is $698.50 per mont to live on campus. These calculations do not include the funds needed for one of the Loper meal plans.

For information regarding room and board costs per semester, visit

It’s up to students to make the decision of whether or not to live on campus or off campus.

“I moved off campus the second I could,” said Rebekah Saddler, a junior majoring in elementary education.

 “I pay $220 for rent a month and then about another $70 for utilities. I never realized how expensive it actually is to live on campus.” 

Saddler said she lives about a five-minute walk away from the Nebraskan Student Union. Living five to ten minutes away from campus is one of the biggest sought-out areas for students who want to live off campus. 

“I think you can find really great deals when looking to rent off campus,” Cox said. “You just have to be willing to talk to the landlord and to look around. You’re obviously going to get what you pay for, but it’s one hundred percent cheaper to live off campus in my opinion.” 

Aside from paying rent and keeping up with monthly electricity and Wifi payments, another thing to keep in mind when living off campus is finding funds for groceries. 

“Many students go for the cheap/fast option, and the cost of fast food adds up pretty quickly,” Daniel said.

Fast food is not only convenient but can be cheap. 

However, if you add up that five-dollar Wendy’s meal over a month, the price one pays for fast food can add up very quickly. While living on campus and paying room and board, food is prepared for you and already paid through your meal plan even with the expense still there.

There are a number of different factors to consider when living off and on campus. In the end it’s up to the students to decide what is better for them financially and which option makes more sense for them at that time. 

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