What to consider during the off-campus housing search


Aldo Sarabia

University Highlands, an off-campus apartment complex located in Boone, won best off-campus housing complex in Best of Boone 2022.

Madalyn Edwards, Associate News Editor

The search for off-campus housing for next academic year has begun, leaving students with many options to consider during their search. 

In previous years, the number of students searching for housing compared to the number of locations to lease in Boone has been tight, according to an internal survey conducted by the off-campus housing department. With a roughly estimated 13,000 students searching for off-campus housing, the growing demand for housing can be stressful for some students.

Lydia Machalicky, biology major, is one of the many freshmen currently searching for off-campus housing.

“It really is a bother that I have to worry about securing housing this early in the year,” Machalicky said.

Machalicky decided that finding a studio apartment would be better than going through the process of finding new roommates.

“Roommates are another level of stress that I don’t want to deal with, especially concerning splitting rent and everything, though it’s also just nice to have my own space,” Machalicky said.

The increasing demand for housing in Boone has put even more pressure on the search. University Housing has taken some steps to offset this pressure. The recent completion of New River Hall added over 700 beds, according to University Housing.

Additionally, the University Highlands apartments offer off-campus housing for returning students.

In order for students to apply to University Highlands and on-campus housing, students typically have to wait until later in the school year. However, this year University Housing opened applications Oct. 1.

According to the department, University Housing bumped up this window so students would know whether or not they are accepted for on campus housing earlier.

Karla Rusch, attorney and director of the Student Legal Clinic and Off-Campus Student Services, said the search for off-campus housing can be “stressful.” To aid students with their search, the department offers several opportunities to find off-campus housing.

Additionally, the department will be hosting a housing fair Nov. 30 in the International Hall of Plemmons Student Union in partnership with SGA. 

Students can visit the department’s website to browse housing listings, find roommates and access additional resources.

Students can also access free legal help and advice by calling the main number for the Dean of Students office at 828-262-8284 and setting up an appointment with Rusch.

Rusch said lifestyle, location, accessibility, transportation, amenities and internet services are several factors that should be considered in the search. A more in-depth list of important factors to consider can be found on the Off-Campus Housing’s website

Lastly, Rusch said students should go into their search with a realistic mindset. Based on the results from a 2021 survey created by the department, Rusch said “there was a real disconnect between what students have budgeted for rent and what they could actually find.” 

This disconnect could result in students becoming overly stressed during their search. 

“Just try to think about these things in a realistic way going into the process of looking for housing,” Rusch said.