Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

A comprehensive guide to off-campus housing

College is a pivotal moment in a person’s life. As students start to become more independent, many choose to live off campus. However, the process can be overwhelming for those who have never had to look for housing before. The two primary off-campus housing options in Oxford are to either rent an apartment or rent a house.

Anjali Rangi, a junior biology and pre-med major, is currently living in an off-campus apartment. Rangi originally started looking for off-campus housing after she joined her sorority during her first year.

“I was so frantic about it that we just did it so quickly. We didn't really explore all of our options, and I wish that I had thought about that and done that,” Rangi said. 

While the advice that Rangi received was to start looking for housing in her first year, apartment complexes in Oxford are typically a year ahead, so most apartment complexes are currently leasing for the 2024-2025 school year. 

When students look for off-campus housing, the most limiting factor is the number of roommates, the price range and how soon students start looking for housing. 

According to Zillow, rent ranges from as little as $600 per month for a one-bedroom apartment to $3,333 per month for a four-bedroom apartment Uptown. Rangi pays around $5,000 a semester for a townhouse right in the heart of Uptown. 

Rent is typically dependent on the location, square footage and the amenities that are provided. Apartments in Oxford typically range from one to four roommates.

While some students choose to live in apartments, others may choose to live in a house instead.

Lielyn Mercer, a junior chemical engineering major, decided to live in a house instead of an apartment for her junior and senior year. She made her decision because of the amount of control she and her roommates had over their living space. 

“You can't really control what your neighbors do [in an apartment] … I didn't want to deal with listening to my neighbors all the time,” Mercer said.

Courtney Alexander is a leasing manager at College Property Management, a company that brokers rental houses in Oxford. Alexander recommends that students start their search for a house at least two years in advance. The company is currently leasing houses for the 2025-2026 school year.

Alexander said renting a house is typically priced around an average of $4,000 per person per semester, but similar to apartments, the price is going to mainly depend on the location and square footage of the property. 

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

Houses that are closer to Uptown typically cost an average of around $5,000 per person per semester, but houses that are farther away from campus can go for as little as $3,000 per person per semester. 

As far as amenities are concerned, houses in Oxford come with the main appliances of a household like laundry machines and ovens. Students are typically responsible for their utilities like electricity, water and internet.

Leases for houses are typically around nine to 11 months, which may dissuade some students who are graduating early or plan on studying abroad. However, companies like Alexander’s allow students to switch out of leases in the middle of the semester

Newer buildings in Oxford are limited to a maximum of four roommates in the City of Oxford, but some older buildings still allow for students to have up to eight roommates. 

Regardless of whether students choose an apartment or a house, the most important factor to consider is roommates. 

“We run into the most issues with tenants or prospective tenants [when] they start looking before they really know who they're going to live with,” Alexander said. 

Alexander recommends using Facebook groups such as Miami University (MU) Housing, Sublets & Roommates. Some housing and apartment companies like Alexander’s do have ways to find roommates on their websites, but these usually do not have roommate matching which makes Facebook a better option to find compatible roommates.

Both Rangi and Mercer found their roommates within their sororities, something they say is typical for those in Greek Life. However, neither had been thoroughly acquainted with their roommates when they had decided to live together. 

“I think if you are proactive in setting boundaries, then you'll be okay,” Rangi said. “Get excited. When you're off-campus living, it's going to be the most fun part of your college career.”