Here at Concordia University Chicago we don’t have the luxury of having a ton of different housing options to choose from. There are no fraternity houses, on campus student apartments, or even off campus apartments owned by the school. A Concordia student’s options are limited to living in the residence halls or strictly off campus. In talking to a few people I have found that there are both advantages and disadvantages to both living situations.
I met with Director of Housing Services Jessica Klingberg and Director of Residence Life Matthew Weekley to discuss this topic. They both informed me that technically no one is supposed to live off campus until their senior year, but some people are able to get around that rule. If you can prove moving off campus has much more financial benefit to you then that is the best way to get off before senior year. Both Klingberg and Weekley agreed that it is much better to live on campus rather than off. Klingberg stated “college isn’t just about school, it is about the social aspect as well. By living on campus you can be much more connected socially to everything that goes on here at Concordia.” She has a point, by living on campus a student can be involved in everything that goes on without having to drive back and forth all the time. Plus the meal plan, while it technically isn’t included with the housing payment, is really nice to have while on campus.
I also spoke with senior Austin Thompson about living off campus, as she currently lives in an apartment in Elmwood Park and lived across the street last year in the Thomas Street apartments. She personally feels that it is better to live off campus. Austin likes the freedom living off campus gives her and feels that the driving back and forth really isn’t that much of a hassle. She said that overall it has saved her money and that was the prime reason she was able to get off as a junior. Although, she did mention that if the new residence hall would have been built last year she would have stayed on campus instead of moving off.
In conclusion, there are both pros and cons to living on campus vs. living off campus. Living on campus provides a meal plan and a great social aspect while living off campus can be cheaper and the student has more freedom. In the end one may not be better than the other, it just depends on the person.