Deciding where to live while in school at UT Austin can seem overwhelming. There are so many options – on-campus dorms, student apartments, rent houses, Greek houses, and the list goes on…
It’s important to explore your options and decide what’s the right fit for you.
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At Rambler, we’ve helped many students find housing near the University of Texas at Austin, and we understand that there are a lot of options to choose from.
In this article, we will discuss the most popular types of housing for students at UT Austin so that you can make an informed decision on which type of housing is right for you.
Types of Housing For College Students Near UT Austin
With over 50,000 students at the University of Texas at Austin, there are a wide variety of housing types to suit the needs of the diverse study body.
In the video above, Audrey Atienza discusses types of college housing and gives you her top tips.
For undergraduate students, the most popular types of housing are residence halls, purpose-built student housing apartment complexes, Greek (sorority and fraternity) houses, traditional apartment complexes, and houses.
Residence halls, also known as dormitories, are an on-campus housing option for UT Austin students. These are typically owned by the university. While some universities require freshmen students to live in on-campus dorms during their first year, the University of Texas at Austin does not require this. However, underclassmen, primarily freshmen, make up the majority of the on-campus housing demographic.
At UT Austin, residence hall rates for the long session, which includes the Fall and Spring semesters, are offered as a nine-month contract. While it may sound nice to save money on a few months of rent, be sure to keep in mind that residence halls close between the Fall and Spring semesters during Winter break. So, if you need a place to stay in Austin during the summer as well as the summer, you may want to consider another type of housing.
All residence hall rates at the University of Texas include room, meal plan, internet service, and laundry. They come furnished, but typically furnishings are limited to a desk and chair, dresser, extra-long twin bed, microwave, mini-refrigerator/freezer, closet space and shelving.
Residence halls that include dining plans are similar in price to student housing apartments that are tailored towards freshmen. Typically, freshmen will live in residence halls, or student housing apartments that are tailored toward freshmen.
Residence halls fall into the middle of the student housing price range. Rates for the nine-month term range from $12,277 to $20,538, or $1,364 to $2,282 per month (as of July 2021).
If you’d like to learn more about residence hall pricing, see UT’s Rates and Billing page.
Student Housing Apartments
The most popular off-campus housing option in West Campus are student housing apartments. These purpose-built apartments are tailored to fit student needs, providing an alternative to on-campus residence halls at a similar price point.
Generally, undergraduate students from freshmen to seniors will lease student housing apartments in West Campus. These apartments draw in undergraduates with their large amenity packages that you do not usually find with other types of housing in West Campus.
Student housing apartment complexes typically offer individual, year-long leases by the bed. They are typically fully furnished and provide a variety of amenities, such as elaborate fitness facilities, rooftop amenities, sports/recreation facilities, a pool deck, etc.
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Most student housing apartments do not include a meal plan. However, there are some purpose-built student housing apartments that tailor their offerings to freshmen and include a meal plan, such as Castilian or Callaway. Keep in mind that when tailored to freshmen, these options have the amenities of a student housing apartment complex and the meal plan of a residence hall, so they can tend to be on the upper end of the price range.
Student housing apartments can fall on either end of the price range due to a large variance in amenity offerings and age of the complex, ranging anywhere from about $700 to $2,000 per person.
If you qualify for need-based financial aid at UT, you may also qualify for SMART Housing. Created by the City of Austin, SMART Housing is a program that aims to provide discounted housing rates for students who are receiving need-based financial aid, paying for school with student loans, or working to independently pay for school and living expenses. SMART housing rates range anywhere from $700 to $1300 depending on if the apartment provides SMART housing by the bed or by the unit.
For more information on SMART housing, see our guide to SMART housing for undergraduates.
Another form of off-campus housing that provides an alternative to residence halls are traditional apartment complexes.
Traditional apartments generally offer year-long leases. However, as a traditional apartment, the leasing contract is usually offered by the apartment rather than by the bed. In this scenario, one roommate will pay the total cost of rent to the landlord each month, and all roommates will make an arrangement with each other to split the rent and utility bills.
Traditional apartments often provide more space and privacy at a lower price point than other forms of student housing. However, most traditional apartments lack the amenities packages that most purpose-built student housing apartments offer. Traditional apartment usually offer a small amenity package at best.
Traditional apartments can fall on either end of the price range, ranging from around $500 to $2,000 per person depending on a variety of factors such as amenities, age of the building, renovations, proximity to campus, etc.
At the University of Texas at Austin, approximately 10% of undergraduate students decide to join a sorority or fraternity. While this may not seem like much, that’s over 4,000 students! Students who join Greek life at UT Austin often elect to live in their sorority or fraternity houses during their sophomore or junior year.
Greek houses are privately maintained by each Greek organization, and members are typically charged a flat fee for the lease term. This covers rent, utilities, and a meal plan for the term of the lease.
Many sorority and fraternity houses close for part or all of the summer, so the cost typically covers around nine months of housing. Some Greek houses will allow members to choose a semester-long lease rather than a nine-month lease. This is a convenient option for those studying abroad or graduating early.
Room styles vary greatly, with some sharing bedrooms and bathrooms and others having their own individual rooms.
Sorority and fraternity houses can range greatly in price. Sorority houses typically fall on the low end of the price range and fraternity houses fall on the mid-to-high end of the price range. Many Greek houses offer discounted membership fees to those who opt to live in the house, so be sure to look into pricing if you are a part of Greek life at UT Austin.
Finally, we will discuss the option of traditional houses. Traditional houses are an excellent off-campus living option for students who prefer a little more breathing room. These rent houses are usually owned by individual owners or investors and may be leased through property management companies.
Students often rent houses in North Campus, but there are some options in West Campus. However, options in West Campus tend to be more expensive. Upperclassmen, primarily seniors, and graduate students will often choose to rent houses for a more laid-back environment.
These options are generally offered as year-long leases, with the monthly cost divided as agreed upon amongst all roommates, a similar process to traditional apartments. If you are interested in a shorter lease, be sure to ask your landlord about your options for term length.
Some houses will have a pool or hot tub, but most do not have many amenities. They are also typically unfurnished, meaning you need to consider furniture costs.
Houses typically fall on the low-to-middle end of the price range for student housing. They can range from around $500 to $1,500 per month per person, assuming you have roommates. Generally, North Campus houses fall on the lower end of this range, while West Campus houses fall on the higher end.
Comparison of Housing Types
To summarize the typical offerings of each housing type, we have put together this convenient table to help you compare your options:
|Residence Halls||Student Housing Apartments||Traditional Apartments||Greek Houses||Traditional Houses|
|Affordability||$$$||$$ – $$$||$ – $$$||$$||$ – $$$|
|On-Campus or Off-Campus||On||Off||Off||Varies||Off|
Ultimately, students at UT Austin have a plethora of options when it comes to finding housing on or near campus.
Whatever your living preference may be, you are certainly not low on options. We hope this article helped educate you on the types of housing UT students typically live in, and determine which housing type is right for you.