On-Campus or Off-Campus Living: Students Weigh In

High student enrollment, limited campus living space and increasing gas prices are leading more students to nearby apartment complexes.

Adams Pointe, University Gardens, University Courtyard, Rattler Pointe, The Cottages of Magnolia and College Club are all within a two-mile radius of Florida A&M’s campus, and each serves as home to hundreds of FAMU students.

Living close to campus offers many benefits for students. Instead of driving, students who live close can take the city bus or the Venom and arrive to campus in minutes without the hassles of transfers or gas expenses.

“Convenience is a major factor,” said Asia Richardson, 21, a senior social work student and former College Club employee. “College Club is a popular place because of its affordability and location. Both the Venom and Star Metro stop right outside the complex, and the staff are understanding and willing to work with students living off financial aid.”

However, this type of convenience does not come without a cost.

“I loved the apartment, but I hated the community,” said Tiffany McLeod, 21, an English student and former Adams Pointe resident. For $500 a month, she dealt with a roommate, loud music and rude neighbors, which “wasn’t worth it.”

Students living close to campus get convenience but often sacrifice other amenities. While paying more for rent to live with more people, students who live in closer complexes also get more parties, more police visits and a lack of peace and quiet.

“I wanted to be not too close but not too far,” said Tyler Hoskins, 22, a psychology student from Atlanta and a Seminole Suites resident. “I wanted to be far enough to get away from all the commotion, but close enough to where I didn’t have to drive too far to get to school.”

Convenience, location and price are major factors when apartment hunting, but every student is different when it comes to accommodating their wants and needs. While convenience may be most important to one student, another may be willing to commute farther to live in a smaller, more affordable apartment.

While McLeod did not care for the community around FAMU, Imani Hill, 20, a psychology student from Plainfield, N.J., is not bothered by it.

“The community is OK,” Hill said. “Sometimes it gets a little urban but it doesn’t bother me much.”