Which Costs More: On-Campus or Off-Campus Housing?

Connecting ODU students with the best off-campus housing available.

At Old Dominion University, many people find that living off campus is the best way to experience college. Off campus housing gives you more space to lounge and study (maybe not in that order), and you’ll enjoy features you won’t find in most dorms like your own bedroom, a kitchen, private baths, your own outdoor space, and very close parking.

If you’re considering living off campus at ODU then you probably have a few questions about how it works. One of the big questions that ODU students have is…

Does it cost more to live off-campus than on-campus?

On-Campus Rent per Month

When looking up prices it can be hard to tell which is more expensive; dorms or off campus housing. Old Dominion University, like most schools, lists their dorm prices by semester and school year while off-campus listings are monthly.

Let’s make the math simple.

The average room at ODU will cost you about $7,300 per year according to their website’s listings. Broken down over a nine month school year, this comes out to about $812 a month. Their most crowded rooms weigh in around $5,600 a year, which translates to about $625 a month. So on campus dorm rooms cost between $625 and $812 per month. If you are an upperclassmen, your options become more limited, and the average cost goes up to about $911 a month or $8,200 per year. (All information taken from ODU’s listings.)

Off-Campus Rent per Month

With off-campus housing, how much you pay depends on two things: where you stay and how many roommates you have.

There’s a wide range of off-campus housing costs, regardless of roommates. We will show you some examples in just a moment, but generally, a reasonable range can span from mid $400’s a month up to about $900 a month depending on where you rent. If that higher number seems extremely high, take a look at The Next a few blocks from ODU. The average cost for a room there is just under $900 per month including utilities.

When trying to figure out how much you can afford, don’t forget to make sure you are looking at the cost per roommate. By living with some roommates, you may be able to split the costs to be more manageable.

For example, the Bowden’s Ferry property is just 3 blocks from campus. It is a comfortable 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom layout that rents out for only $465 a month per student.

Maybe you’re looking for a space to host your whole squad without breaking the bank. An option like The Mill offers an incredible 4-bedroom layout, with the second floor properties including a loft and a spiral staircase for around $525 a month per tenant.

Maybe your concern is the additional costs that come with off-campus rentals. Do they tip the scales? On average, your utilities range between $80-$100 per month per student depending on the season and how much water you use.

The Bottom Line: On-Campus or Off-Campus?

Here are your average cost comparisons when rent and utilities are taken into consideration:


Want to see affordable rental options around ODU? See for yourself!

There are a few more things you should know about off-campus housing, especially with properties you’ll find on ODURent.com.

Tip #1 – Security

Security is a huge thing to consider with rental properties. Listings you’ll find on ODURent.com have safety in mind, down to the details. They have some of the best locks in the industry, peep holes in every external door, exterior lighting, and a security company to monitor the properties on weekends and breaks.

Tip #2 – Location

Another factor is transportation and parking. Many of ODURent.com’s properties are within a few blocks of campus, and if they’re slightly farther, they tend to be right on or near ODU’s shuttle stops. Also, to make your life easier, tenants get decal-protected parking privileges right next to the properties.

Continue Your Research

We encourage you to do some research and consider if off-campus housing would be the right choice for you. Of course, we would be more than happy to help answer your questions if you need some local expertise regarding off-campus housing for ODU students.

Connect with us by phone or by email, and we would be happy to help you make the best decision for your college experience!