Back to blog

Living On-Campus vs. Living Off-Campus: The Main Differences

Congratulations on being accepted into university! You have worked hard to get this far and now a new way of living and learning is fast approaching. University life is great fun, but often very busy, so it is wise to make sure you choose accommodation that you will feel comfortable in and that caters for everything you need, to minimise stress throughout the year.

Choosing to live on or off campus isn't an easy decision, which is why we have put together the pros and cons of each accommodation type. So, if you are unsure which would benefit you more, keep reading for our expert advice to help you make the right decision.

On-Campus vs Off-Campus: What’s the difference?

The difference of living on or off-campus will vary depending on the facilities, location and who owns the accommodation. Read on to find out more of the differences as well as the pros and cons of each one.


Pros of living off campus

Choosing off-campus accommodation is perfect if you want to be extra independent and have more flexibility on the type of accommodation you live in. Keep reading for our pros and cons of living in off-campus accommodation.

It can be a quieter way of living

Living off campus means you will be living with a smaller group of people in comparison with 100s of students coming and going at all times of the day and night. This means you will be less likely to become distracted and will be able to better concentrate on your studies. This doesn't mean you will miss out on the exciting parts of university life, as plenty of off-campus accommodation is still close to all the action.

You could gain more privacy

Most off-campus student housing has ensuite rooms, whereas some on-campus accommodations have shared bathrooms, giving you more privacy and less chance of having to clean up someone else's mess. The bedrooms also tend to be bigger so you have more space to study and live in. Plus, due to off-campus accommodation tending to be further from student bars than university campuses you can enjoy the nightlife and have less disturbance when you get home.

We know that you most likely would want the best of both worlds, which is why our accommodation takes you close to the action whilst also giving you the privacy that off-campus accommodation provides!

You have more flexibility on accommodation types

Most on-campus accommodation consists of high-rise blocks of bedrooms and communal areas. But not everyone wants to live in high-rise buildings. Living off-campus gives you more flexibility on the type of accommodation you want, whether a house, a studio or a downstairs private apartment. And if you're lucky, a private garden to relax and unwind in, which is rarely on offer with on-campus accommodation.

You can choose who you want to live with

We think that the biggest perk of living off-campus is your ability to choose your roommates. Because let's face it, we are only human, and we all have pet peeves that annoy us. So, reducing the stress of living with someone less desirable and living with your friends is a great reason to live off campus.

Cons of living off campus

With every pro comes a con, here are some of the possible disadvantages that come with living off-campus.

You may need to commute

On-campus apartments tend to be close to the student bars, university and other local amenities. Living off-campus tends to bring you further afield. Therefore, you may have to look into the local public transportation services and factor additional travel costs into your consideration.

beryl bike station in the town centre

Bills, bills, bills

Another additional cost you may need to factor in when looking into off-campus student accommodation is the extra monthly payments of bills. Whereas most on-campus accommodation includes bills in your monthly rent, a lot of off-campus accommodation does not. This means you will have to be responsible for paying the monthly utilities, including Wi-Fi, electricity, water bills and other living expenses. It's a good idea to ensure you can trust the friends you chose to live with, so no one gets caught out having to pay extra for the utilities. Also, we advise ensuring you have a properly planned budget, and that you can 100% afford the additional costs.

Looking to save money without compromising on the enjoyment of uni life? Take a look at our guide to free or cheap things to do in Bournemouth on a student budget and 12 of the best cheap and easy student meals.

You may get caught out with lease lengths

Although you can find off-campus accommodation providers which specialise in student housing options, some are privately owned, and you may find yourself caught into a year-long lease rather than a lease that works with the academic terms. This can be expensive if you are having to pay rent during the summer term when you will most likely be back home.

Pros of living on Campus

Living on campus is great if you want to be closer to university and not worry about too much 'adult' stuff. Let our pros and cons help you make the right decision for you.

Immediate facilities and convenience

Living on-campus means you will have direct access to a range of facilities as many on-campus student accommodations have a range of excellent facilities within the same building. From gyms to cafes to launderettes to chill-out zones, on-campus life is easier to access straight from your bedroom door!


They are more secure

University accommodations prioritise the safety and security of their students. Most on-campus apartments benefit from security detail at the entrance of the buildings, as well as security patrol around the dorms and outside areas 24/7. As well as this, on-campus living means you need swipe access to gain entry and to visit certain floors, making on-campus living a very secure place to live.

You can enjoy a busier social life

On-campus accommodation brings you into the heart of the action, with everything from the library to the student bar within walking distance. Living on-campus gives you the ability to maximise your social life!

You could save money

Although the total cost of living on campus vs off campus is higher, there is only one total amount to pay and that's it. Meaning unlike living in off-campus housing you won't have any other extras to pay like water bills or the internet as it is all included in the cost.

More time in bed

Due to your on-campus accommodation being near the university, you can benefit from more time to doze in the mornings! No long commuting times nor worrying about public transportation. Just roll out of bed and go to your lectures!


Cons of living on campus accommodation

Now for the cons.

You may have limited privacy and concentration space

Being in the hustle and bustle of on-campus living means you are not always in control of how much privacy you have. Even if you have your own room, you will need to share bathrooms, common areas and other shared spaces. This can also be hard to concentrate when studying for upcoming exams, not everyone is considerate to their neighbours, and you would end up with sleepless nights without even going out. If you like the idea the life living on-campus can bring but you value privacy, opt for studio apartments within the campus, giving you the best of both worlds!

You may need to move every year

Many on-campus student accommodation is only accessible if you are a first-year student. Which can cause the disruption of having to find new accommodation each year. Check if the on-campus accommodation you are looking at accepts second and third year students, or utilise the flexibility of private halls.

You can't choose who you live with

Who you live with can shape your time at university positively or negatively. On-campus accommodation sites usually allocate apartments to students before they arrive. Therefore, you won’t necessarily be sharing your flat with the people you want to. However, this could also be seen as a positive and a great opportunity to meet a new group of friends!


What's your deciding factor?

Now that you've read the pros and cons of living off-campus vs living on-campus, it's time for you to decide which one will suit you better.

Do you love the idea of being in the bustle of the city, close to your university with access to great facilities such as a gym and cafe? Or would you prefer something a little more quiet?

Before making a decision, take the time to view prospecting on and off-campus accommodation. At Lulworth Student Company we offer a tour of our campus and facilities so you can get a feel for our modern accommodation, located in the heart of Bournemouth.

Contact us today and make your decision an easier one!