With college it comes a series of decisions: what university is best for you, which major you want, what subjects to take, and where to live. While you may not think about this at first, choosing a place to live is an important decision that will have to live with for the next four years. If you don't know what you want, here is a quick overview of your options and the pros and cons of both.
Living on campus is a popular option. Sharing a dorm with other students will give you the full college experience: 3AM pizza dinners in a packed room, full participation in college life, and close contact with friends. Living on campus is the best choice if you're studying full time and have very short breaks between classes. If you need to use the college library frequently or need to carry around a lot of books or materials, living on campus will certainly make things easier for you. If there is no public transportation around, living on campus may be your only choice.
On the other hand, on-campus living is expensive. Depending on the college, it may be up to three times more expensive to live on campus than to rent a place in the city. It can also be less comfortable and lacking in privacy.
Living off campus is usually cheaper than taking a place in a college dorm. It allows the freedom of living your own life without having to worry about curfews and noisy roommates, and the distractions of normal college life. On the negative side, you may have a hard time finding a landlord willing to rent a place to a group of out-of-state college students.
You will probably need to provide your own furniture, although finding second-hand things to furnish a small apartment is usually not a problem, as students leave a lot of things behind once they finish college and move on. Safety is also an important issue. Campuses usually have their own security 24/7, which means you probably don't have to worry about walking around after sunset if you live on campus. If you live off campus, however, you're on your own.