Walking Distance

Apartment hunting season has begun for many college students in the Tallahassee area.

For upperclassmen, this is an experience filled with headaches, tough decision-making and a veritable mountain of paper work. Many first-year students, however, are embarking upon a new adventure.

One of the first things students consider when scoping out their abode for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year is location. Some factors student may consider when searching for an apartment are how close the complex is from campus, location of other friends and transportation.

“I choose to stay on campus because it’s convenient for my lifestyle,” said Vionni Brown, 20, a third year allied health science student.

Brown said that on-campus housing relieves the stress of paying rent every month, grants a worry free environment of monitoring utilities and allows students to reach classes with ease.

The beginning of March marked the start of on-campus housing registration for returning students at Florida A&M on a first come, first serve basis. While some students woke up at the crack of dawn to ensure they got first grabs for on-campus housing, other students that currently live on campus are eager to move as far away as possible.

By living on campus, students are subject to weekly room inspections, community bathrooms and curfew restrictions for guest. The regulations and procedures that come along with living on campus grow to be such a hassle for students that they begin looking for off-campus housing as early as the fall semester.

“I love my roommate but I’m ready to have my own bedroom and my own bathroom,” said Lea Coleman, 18, a first year pharmacy student.

A problem FAMU housing office often faces is an insufficient amount of space available for the numerous applications they receive each year. This ongoing issue leaves many first time students turning to off-campus housing alternatives that are in close proximity to the school or at least near a bus stop.

“I like having my own bathroom, but I feel like I miss out on a lot of the campus interaction,” Said Stacy Saint-Rose, 18, a first year political science student.

According to information from the FAMU website and office of Student Housing Solutions, the average amount a student pays for on-campus housing is between $2,000-2,500 in a regular school year. With off-campus housing, the average amount in one year is from $3,500-$6,000.

In Tallahassee, students have the option of turning to off-campus leasing housing offices such as Student Housing Solutions. On average, their leasing office receives 4,000 applications per year for housing.

“All of the Southside properties are very fast leasing communities. The Pointe, University Courtyard and The Cottages of Magnolia each offer a different experience and price point,” said Student Housing Solutions Director of Marketing and Sales Leon Grinnell. “However, all three are typically full by June.”

Grinnell suggest the earlier a student finds housing for the fall, the better.

“The last two years, I have seen many students [that] procrastinated, not [getting] into the community of their choice [and] lose the ability to roommate with their friends,” said Grinnell.