Apps help students find affordable off-campus housing

A primary concern for students is whether the housing options in Tallahassee are within budget.

Many apartment complexes offer deals for tenants to lease for another year. Although finding the best apartment will take research, there are applications that will search for apartments based on students’ criteria.

Apps such as Apts in Tally and Off Campus Housing, LLC guides students to several options in the area.

For Florida A&M students, Off Campus Housing Solutions is located near campus on Melvin Street. According to the company marketing manager, James Casseus, the company ensures student privacy and directs them to a place within budget, which includes apartments, townhomes and condos.

Casseus said his main concern for the company is that the utility bills are paid. He also mentioned the financial deferment option that will allow students to pay their rent after their financial aid is disbursed.

“Many students forget they are on their own, so we have a utility cap that helps all students learn to budget their money,” Casseus said. “I truly believe freshmen should stay on campus for the freshman experience. But off-campus your first year can avoid sharing the same space confrontations.”

According to the university’s website, the average cost of living on campus is $2,025.47 per semester. However, companies such as Campus Housing Solutions offer students the option to pay $2,200-$4,000 or more per year. Students living off campus could save at least half of their on-campus housing costs.

It is university policy for first-time students to live on campus because space is limited for returning students. About 75 percent of housing is allocated for incoming students and 25 percent is left for returning students, according to Associate Director of University Housing Mattie Trawick.

“The new dorms being built will be in a suite-style layout and should have the possibility to allocate more returning students to stay on campus,” Trawick said.

College students usually want to choose what type of residence they want, how much they want to pay and choose whom to live with.

Freshmen who are living on campus are exploring the deals that off-campus housing has to offer them.

One student, Fatima Morrison, a junior criminal justice student from Miami, moved off-campus after her first semester because she wanted her own bathroom and a kitchen to cook meals. Living in McGuinn Hall was an experience she said she would not do again. 12