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Six things students should know before moving off campus

October 11, 2018

Moving off campus can be an exciting experience. A few of the vendors at the 2018 MSU Housing Fair shared their tips for students who are ready to move out of the dormitories. 

Consider a dining plan

If cooking really isn't your thing, Leah Ball, communications manager at MSU Culinary Services, urges students living off-campus to try an off-campus meal plan. 

"One of the things they should consider is purchasing an off-campus dining plan," Ball said. "They're available in bundles of 10 for $7.75 per meal, so there's a little bit more flexibility built in."

Be mindful of your price range and lifestyle

Miranda Scott, an assistant general manager at 25 East Apartments, urges students to pay attention to their price range and the lifestyle they're looking for.

"I think that the biggest thing to look for is price range and what you are interested in having as your ultimate lifestyle," Scott said. "There are a lot of communities slightly off campus where you can get more for your money ... I also think it's important to look at the resources your community provides."  

Set boundaries and living standards ahead of time

AmeriCorps Vista volunteer Dan Newton believes students need to set up social contracts with whoever they plan on living with.

"Set up group norms with their roommates as soon as possible," Newton said. "Make sure that they have community agreements. It makes living with a group of people so much easier."

Have someone look over your lease

ASMSU Student Legal Services attorney Brian Jeffries urges students to take advantage of the free legal service to find any potential issues in their leases.

"If you're looking at a lease, bring that lease into our office and we can review that and go over the terms and conditions, so that they know what they're getting into," Jeffries said. "We can talk about our experiences with the landlords and if it will be a good landlord to work with or a hard one."

Know your credit score

Brandon Howell, a lead digital marketing specialist for the Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU), believes it's important for students to know where they stand financially.

"Know what your credit score is. Know what affects your credit score, and know why it matters," Howell said. "Some apartments will run credit checks, and it could affect whether you're approved for a lease or not."

Make a budget

Carly Jacobs, a leasing manager at Chandler Crossings, believes making a budget is essential before a student moves off.

"Budget for sure, if they're going to move off-campus," Jacobs said. "Just because if they're living on campus they don't have to worry about that. Be on top of rent."

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