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A Transfer Student’s Guide to Student Housing at UT Austin

By Grace

So you’re headed to UT this Fall. Congratulations– your first year as a Longhorn is an exciting time! Now that you have made the decision to head to Austin, it is time to decide where you are going to live when you get there. 

Read Next: Student Housing vs. Traditional Apartments Near UT Austin

At Rambler, we help students just like you find their dream apartment for the school year. To help you navigate this process, we are outlining the important steps that should be taken when looking for an apartment in West Campus, including: 

UT Transfer Living Learning Community

Seating in Rambler's lobby

Being a transfer student to UT can be a difficult transition. To combat this and help students adjust to the Longhorn lifestyle, UT offers the Transfer Living Learning Community program. 

This program is designed to connect transfer students with one another and ease their transition into their new college community. The program is available to any first-year transfer student who has earned academic credit at a college or university in between high school and enrolling at UT. To learn more about the Transfer-Year Experience Program as a whole, check out this page from the UT Transfer-Year Experience Program 

With that being said, on-campus housing spots are limited, and we know many transfer students end up waitlisted and looking for alternative housing options. That’s why we have created this guide listing everything you need to know about alternative housing options near UT’s campus available to transfer students. 

Off-Campus Housing for UT Transfer Students

Where do UT students live?

When looking for off campus housing near campus, there are three popular neighborhoods to consider: 

  • West Campus
  • North Campus
  • Riverside

West Campus is a favored location for student apartments, traditional apartments, and traditional houses. West Campus offers a social lifestyle with a variety of food, drink, and entertainment options, all within a short walk from campus. West Campus is most popular among students involved in Greek Life, spirit groups, and other similar on-campus organizations.

North Campus offers a quieter setting without sacrificing the close proximity to campus, as this area is more secluded from the social scene of West Campus. North Campus is popular among upperclassmen and graduate students, so if you are looking for an older crowd, this area could be the perfect fit. 

Lastly, Riverside is located south of the campus and offers more budget-friendly housing options. This neighborhood is home to many young professionals and small families, which offers a more laid back scene than West or North campus. Riverside has become so popular amongst UT students that the school now offers a direct shuttle to and from the Riverside area.

Friends hanging out in the Rambler ATX Zen Den

Rambler’s Zen Den offers a complete wellness retreat, featuring the yoga room, two saunas, fireplace lounge, and a rooftop terrace overlooking the city.

For more detailed information about the different areas where UT students live, check out our article, Where Do Students Live Near the University of Texas at Austin?

What types of off-campus housing are available near UT Austin?

There are three main types of off-campus housing options available to UT students: 

  • Student Housing Apartments 
  • Traditional Apartments 
  • Traditional Houses
Rambler, a mid-rise student housing development located in West Campus near The University of Texas at Austin.

Welcome to Rambler, a mid-rise student housing development located in West Campus near The University of Texas at Austin.

Student housing apartments are purpose-built housing located near the campus specifically designed to cater to the needs of busy students. This type of apartment will offer individual leases, meaning each roommate signs their own lease and is responsible only for their portion of the rent and designated spaces. Apartments come fully furnished with a variety of floor plan options to choose between, from studios to 6×6 (6 bedroom, 6 bathroom). Student housing apartment complexes also typically provide attractive amenities such as rooftop pool decks, fitness centers, study areas, and on-site coffee shops. 

Read Next: 5 Benefits of Living in a Newly Built Student Apartment near UT Austin

Traditional apartments are not specifically designed for students, offer fewer and less tailored amenities, and tend to be located further from campus. These apartments typically offer by-the-apartment leases to be signed by the apartment as a whole, rather than individually by each roommate. This means you and your roommates need to devise your own system for rent and utilities, and all are equally responsible for any property damages. 

Renting a traditional house near campus, particularly in the previously mentioned West Campus neighborhood, is another common option for upperclassmen or graduate students. Like traditional apartments, this type of housing lacks student-oriented features and amenities, and the properties are often unfurnished. With year-long, by-the-apartment leases like traditional apartments, roommates will need to devise their own system for rent and utilities, and all are equally responsible for any property damages.

When should I start looking for housing? 

Study area at Rambler ATX

As soon as you commit to transfer to UT Austin, you should start looking for housing. Your chances of finding your dream dorm or apartment are much higher when you sign a lease early. Whether you decide to live on- or off-campus, housing options near UT’s campus can go quickly. 

Read Next: When to Start Looking For Student Housing as an UT Austin Student

If you’re looking at on-campus dorms, room selection is determined by a housing preference survey all residents will take. All students interested are asked to explore all of UT’s on-campus residence halls and UT’s Living Learning Communities to determine your housing preferences. After you sign and return your housing contract and pay a $300 advance payment, you will be able to submit your housing preferences online.

On the housing preferences survey, you can indicate…

  • Your five residence hall preferences
  • Your Living Learning Communities preferences
  • Your bathroom preferences (community vs. shared/private)
  • Your roommate preference

For more information regarding the on-campus residence hall application process, reference UT’s Room Assignments page.

With more and more students being accepted to UT Austin each year, room selection in on-campus dorms is very competitive and there will likely be a lengthy waitlist of students that want to live in on-campus dorms and apartments. To increase your chances of getting the dorm you want, be ready to complete and sign this application as soon as you’re accepted to UT. 

Off-campus housing is also quite competitive, so you’ll want to sign and commit soon after you make the decision to transfer to UT. Off-campus apartments begin leasing as early as Fall the year prior to move-in, so spots at popular apartment complexes will be increasingly limited the longer you wait. 

How much does it cost to live near UT Austin? 

Upon publication, living in on-campus housing can range from $6,555 to $10,966 per semester depending on what style of housing you choose. Because these contracts are for two semesters at nine months total, your monthly rate will range from around $1,456 and $2,437.

Off-campus student apartment options can range from $1,100 to $2,000 per person, per month. This rate will be lower or higher depending on location, amenities, number of roommates and floor plan you select. 

Off-campus traditional apartments have a much wider range of pricing due to the variety of options throughout the West Campus area. These apartments can be anywhere from $700 to over $2,000 per person, per month depending on location, building age, apartment size, number of roommates, etc.

Off-campus traditional houses tend to be located further from campus and with less amenities, generally fall on the low-mid end of the price range. Traditional houses in West Campus can range from $500 to $1,500 per person, per month depending on size, number or roommates, age of the house, and area of West Campus.

Read next: How Much Does It Cost to Live near UT Austin?

How do I find roommates as a transfer student at UT Austin? 

Roommates hanging out at Rambler

Roommates can make all the difference in your living experience. Coming in as a transfer student, the task of finding roommates can seem a little daunting at first glance. 

In off-campus apartments, floor plans typically feature a shared kitchen and living space with private bedrooms and bathrooms for each roommate from 2×2’s (two bedroom, two bathroom) to 6×6’s (six bedroom, six bathroom). This means you can have anywhere from one to five roommates depending on the floor plan you select.

For both on- and off-campus housing options, you’ll have the opportunity to choose your own roommates if you have a few friends in mind. 

If you don’t know of any roommates yet, that’s fine too! Most places you sign will have roommate matching systems where you can opt to let your dorm or apartment complex match you with roommates based on a short questionnaire. 

If you would rather have more say in the roommates you pick, there are also other resources like Facebook groups, Instagram pages, and other online platforms to help students find roommates. You can find more information on these resources in our article, How to Find Roommates at the University of Texas at Austin

What are the next steps?

Now that you have determined what types of housing you are interested in and how many roommates you anticipate having, it is time to begin the leasing process!

First, make a list of apartments you are interested in and book tours at each location. From here, you can get more information on rates, amenities, and availability through the leasing staff at each location. If you are out-of-state or not able to tour in person, many leasing staff will be accommodating and provide you with online tours and a virtual call with a staff member to answer any questions you may have. 

After you have decided on a location, you’ll complete your application and, once approved, sign a lease for your apartment! For more information on what the leasing process looks like at off-campus apartments, check out our article on How to Sign a Lease at a Student Housing Apartment near UT Austin.

We hope this guide puts you in the right direction when looking for housing as a transfer student at UT Austin. If you have any further questions about student housing near UT or would like to learn more about leasing at Rambler, feel free to reach out to our leasing team. We are more than happy to assist you in your search for housing!


Grace is a Digital Marketing Intern for Rambler. She is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majoring in Advertising and Public Relations.

December 07, 2023

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