Wondering where you’ll be living next year? So are many other Temple students. As the semester comes to a close, the scramble for a place to live next year begins.
Housing deposits were due last week and cost students who chose to live on campus $200. However, many students would rather not take their chances with Temple’s lottery system.
With only one week to pay deposits, and just a few on-campus housing choices, the idea of possibly not getting their first choice for housing doesn’t sit well with many students.
That’s where off-campus housing comes in. For students who would rather not deal with the hassle of the lottery system, but still want to live close by, off-campus housing may seem like a dream. However, there is somewhat of a darker side to this kind of living arrangement, and for many local students, that dark side may be enough to deter them from investing. Buildings such as University Village, Oxford Village and the Edge are all designed for college students who want to live near campus, but not in a campus building.
These buildings consist of various apartment layouts and offer amenities such as gyms, tanning beds and social lounges for a fairly affordable price.
Of course, there’s just one catch: While $500 or $600 a month for one of these apartments will run students about the same as a typical dorm room, renting for only the school year is not an option.
Temple Housing charges students a flat rate each semester for its living accommodations, but the off-campus apartments are rented out on a yearly schedule. So what does this mean?
Living in one of these apartment buildings cost you about $600 a month, every month for a whole year, including the summer months.
For students who choose to take summer courses, or those who choose to live in Philly for the summer, this is not a problem; in fact, it could be quite convenient. However, for those students who have alternative plans for their free time, living here all summer may not be desirable, or feasible.
Nor is it convenient during the holidays, when many students go home to their families.
All of the college housing buildings located near Temple offer the option of subletting, so that residents who have other living arrangements set up for school breaks can save money on rent.
The only problem is that finding someone to sublet an apartment is not a guarantee, especially during the month-long break for the winter holidays; there are few students who want to rent an apartment for only a few months out of the year.
All the off-campus housing options for Temple students offer the same thing, and that thing can sometimes present a problem.
These buildings are designed specifically for college students, and yet, the apartments can only be rented out for the minimum duration of a year.
The most effective solution – and the most convenient for students – would either be to charge residents a flat monthly fee, or to change the minimum duration of habitation to eight months, and offer semesterly leases.
Either way, students could live in the buildings for as long a time as they need.
Owners need to take into consideration that since their tenants are college students, semesterly leasing wouldn’t result in a loss of money, but would simply be more convenient for the residents.
When that time comes, I’ll be a more than willing tenant.
Shannon McDonald can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.