While many agree the ‘dorm experience’ is an essential part of college life, this isn’t a reality for most students at the University of Texas at Austin. In fact, 92% of UT students live off-campus.
Because living on campus isn’t required at UT, you may find yourself looking for housing elsewhere for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re an upperclassman ready for more independence, maybe you don’t want to be forced out of a residence hall during winter and summer breaks, or maybe you just can’t stand the idea of a shared room or community bathroom.
At Rambler, we understand there are numerous reasons students choose to live off-campus. That’s why we created this comprehensive guide to help you navigate the off-campus student housing options near UT Austin.
Where to Live Off-Campus Near UT Austin
For the social butterfly looking to stay involved both on and off-campus, West Campus is the place for you.
West Campus is most popular among students involved in Greek life, spirit groups, and other similar organizations. It’s also a great choice for underclassmen whose priority is to be close to campus.
Read Next: 5 Reasons Students at UT Austin Should Live in West Campus
The main draw of West Campus is its location. Dotted with coffee shops, restaurants and shopping spots, it only takes a few minutes to walk virtually anywhere you might need to go, including class!
Easily the most student-dense neighborhood in Austin, West Campus has a variety of housing options. These include apartments, off-campus dorms, and Greek houses.
Complete with top-of-the-line amenities and fully-furnished rooms, West Campus has dozens of complexes that offer a high-end living experience. For those with refined taste, an apartment in West Campus will likely be your favorite choice.
Most West Campus apartments are student-focused, meaning they are designed, built and operated with students in mind. It also fosters a sense of community to be surrounded by people in a similar stage of life as you.
While these apartments often come with an equally high-end price tag, there are countless opportunities to make it fit into your budget. Whether you utilize Austin’s SMART Housing program, select a floor plan with more roommates, or take a bedroom without a window, living in a luxurious West Campus apartment is attainable at a variety of price points.
Read Next: Ultimate Guide to SMART Housing at UT Austin
While this option is almost exclusively for incoming freshmen, there are multiple off-campus dorms near UT Austin.
An off-campus dorm mirrors a residence hall in the sense that you typically share a bedroom and bathroom with one or more roommates, and there is usually an onsite cafeteria where you have a meal plan. Some off-campus dorms also have a suite-style common area with a kitchenette and living room. The main difference from a traditional residence hall is that most off-campus dorms are not university-affiliated.
While an off-campus dorm is one of the pricier options when it comes to student housing, it can be a good choice for someone looking to mimic the first-year dorm experience while living in West Campus.
West Campus is also home to dozens of fraternity and sorority houses along with many houses or offices owned by spirit groups and other organizations.
For students affiliated with Greek life, it’s common to spend at least one year living at your organization’s house. This is an option that is more affordable than an apartment for some people. However, the price of living in the house is completely dependent on the organization.
Nonetheless, you can’t walk through West Campus without seeing a few of these establishments, so it is beneficial to know that this is a housing choice for many UT students.
If you’re looking for a quieter setting without sacrificing the convenience of living near campus, North Campus might be your perfect fit.
North Campus is more secluded from the social scene of West Campus, but it still offers many similar location-based perks. The North Campus area is popular among upperclassmen, graduate students, and young professionals and families.
Whether you choose a house or an apartment, the neighborhood-style living found in North Campus can be an affordable option for those looking for more traditional off-campus living options.
While West Campus and other areas near UT have some houses for rent, North Campus has a wide selection available.
Some students opt to rent a house to get more space. If you have a larger group, it can be difficult to find an apartment that accommodates everyone’s needs. Having more roommates also typically drives a living space’s price down because more people share one common area.
While some areas of North Campus are out of walking distance from UT, it’s a bonus that most houses include free parking.
However, it’s important to consider the miscellaneous costs of maintaining a house that you don’t have to worry about in an apartment. These include lawn maintenance and other utilities that are typically factored into apartment rental rates. You also need to remember that when renting a house, it is much less likely that you and your roommates will be able to have individual leases, which elevates your financial responsibility.
Read Next: 5 Benefits of Signing an Individual Lease in West Campus
Although you generally sacrifice the luxurious amenities and finishes found in West Campus apartments, North Campus complexes also typically come with a more conservative price tag.
The affordability and location are the main reasons students select a North Campus apartment. If you don’t mind taking the bus, biking, or driving to your destination, you may enjoy living in North Campus.
If budget is your priority over location, you might find an apartment in Riverside is the best fit for you.
While many students choose to live in Riverside, it is also home to young professionals and small families. This makes it a good selection if being at the center of bustling university life isn’t your cup of tea.
The main appeal of Riverside is that it is much more budget-friendly than most apartments closer to campus. The option has become so popular among students that UT offers a direct shuttle to and from the Riverside area.
When deciding if Riverside could be a good choice for you, it’s important to consider the distance to UT Campus. Outside of rush hour, the drive to campus takes about 10 to 15 minutes. But during peak times, a UT Shuttle can take upwards of half an hour one way.
For a student who doesn’t mind commuting and is looking to save money, Riverside can be an ideal option.
We hope this guide helps you explore your choices when it comes to choosing an off-campus neighborhood near UT Austin. If you have any questions as you navigate your student housing search, contact the Rambler team – we are happy to assist you!