At West Virginia University, first-year students are required to live on campus.
But interestingly, only 26% of undergrads stay in campus housing, which means the majority reside in WVU off campus housing.
So which is better the better option?
Campus Housing at WVU
WVU offers coed and same-sex campus housing. About 5,500 freshman through senior students live in WVU on-campus residence halls, which vary from traditional doubles to suite-style and efficiency apartments. Most dorms on campus have been renovated recently and generally, carpets and walls of rooms are in good condition.
Rooms are of decent size, equipped with new bed frames, desks and dressers. Each room is wired for cable and Internet.
The Evansdale Campus consists of:
- Fieldcrest Hall
- Lincoln Hall
- Evansdale Residential Complex (ERC), comprised of Bennett, Brooke, Braxton and Lyon Towers
- Pierpont Apartments
Downtown Campus consists of:
- The Honors Hall, the newest WVU residence hall
- Dadisman Hall
- Arnold Hall and Apartments
- Stalnaker Hall
- Summit Hall
- Boreman North and South Halls
- Spruce House
While dorm security is very good, it sometimes annoys students due to the rules; residents:
- Must present an ID after 9 p.m. in most dorms
- Are not permitted to sign in a guest after midnight on the weekends
- Cannot sign in a guest of the opposite sex after midnight
No dorm is farther than a 5-minute walk away from a dining hall. In fact, most dorms have dining halls located on site. While most dorms are located on Downtown Campus, transportation by bus or PRT is available to students living on Evansdale Campus, such as those living in Towers, a popular freshman dorm.
As aforementioned, only 26% of students live on campus. Students are only guaranteed housing in a campus dorm for the year they're required to live there: freshman year. After that, students must fill out University Housing applications for a chance of receiving a dorm room. Keep in mind there is a $225 housing deposit required to secure a slot. If you do not receive housing on campus, you'll be refunded the deposit.
WVU Off Campus Housing
With students being encouraged to move off campus after freshman year, it's fortunate that there are plenty of off-campus housing options. Plus, living off campus gives students more freedom as they needn't abide by dorm rules any longer.
While there are several off-campus apartment complexes, most off-campus housing units are houses converted into apartments or full houses. Most off-campus housing is located no more than a 15-minute walk from campus on the edge of Downtown Campus in the suburbs. If driving, be aware that traffic to campus and downtown Morgantown gets pretty busy, especially during the morning rush hour and dinnertime.
Living off-campus can save WVU students money, since cooking their own food has been found to be cheaper than buying a campus meal plan. While living off-campus may seem like a better financial decision, there are expenses to keep in mind.
While rent prices are reasonable, rent is beginning to increase in proportion to the growing student population. Also be aware that security deposits are typically the same as one months rent when creating your budget. Further, the cost of utilities, cable and Internet can add up. Luckily, some WVU off campus housing includes utilities and even cable and Internet in the rent.
So Which is Better?
Both on and off campus housing at West Virginia University has advantages and disadvantages.
While it's ultimately up to you to determine which choice is better, one thing is certain. Regardless of whether you choose WVU housing on or off campus, you have to act quickly.
Housing goes fast! Even for off campus housing, many landlords like to have their leases signed before winter break.
Which do you prefer, no matter the campus, on- or off-campus housing? Please share your preference by commenting below.