By Katie Wornek, Outreach Officer and Financial Aid Expert – February 24, 2017
Preparing for college involves a lot of big decisions. Choosing a school and selecting a major can be challenging and can leave you with little time to fully research another major decision: housing. This week, I’ll help you learn about Utah college housing options so you can decide which living arrangement is the best fit for you.
Utah is home to eleven colleges and universities (eight public and three private), and many of them offer on-campus housing options.
The Utah schools that offer on-campus housing are (click on school name for more info):
- Brigham Young University
- Dixie State University
- Snow College
- Southern Utah University
- University of Utah
- Utah State University (Logan)
- Utah State University Eastern (Price and Blanding)
- Weber State University
- Westminster College
Many of these schools even offer a range of on-campus living options, such as dormitories, student apartments, honor’s houses, language and subject-of-study housing, and more. You can visit the links above or contact your school’s housing office to learn more about the features and eligibility requirements of each housing option.
The Utah schools that do not offer on-campus housing are:
- LDS Business College (although LDSBC does have arrangements with some private landlords to offer leases to students)
- Salt Lake Community College
- Utah Valley University (although UVU works with local landlords to offer an alternative to on-campus living called the Residential Engagement Initiative)
Although you may not be able to live on-campus at LDSBC, SLCC, and UVU, there are many options and benefits when it comes to living off-campus (more on that in Part 2).
The benefits of living on campus are hard to measure but easy to observe. Here is how Dr. Daniel Kilcrease, Director of Housing at Weber State University, describes how living on campus can shape a student’s time in college:
“Going into higher education, most students recognize the academic portion of their experience. However, many students do not recognize until further into their years of study the tremendous impact of the other experiences and life lessons they learn. A residential environment helps them through many life lessons…”
Dr. Kilcrease is correct! In addition to simply putting a roof over your head, on-campus housing can provide a unique, well-rounded college experience by:
- Immersing students in campus culture and school events
- Fostering diversity by introducing students to peers from different cultures, countries, and backgrounds
- Offering easier access to classrooms and school resources such as libraries, fitness centers, or computer labs
As we can see, living on-campus can be a fun and beneficial experience, but you may want to consider the following before making your choice:
- Lifestyle: Many schools require students in first-year housing to live with a roommate or multiple roommates. If living alone or with people you already know is more your style, on-campus life may not be the right fit for you. Additionally, some schools require students to bundle a meal plan into their living arrangement. You may want to research the meal plans to see if they appeal to you or align with your personal dietary needs.
- Cost: The price of one year of room and board in Utah can vary greatly, and each school provides information on their website to help you calculate those costs. While it is important to be informed about the cost of on-campus living, the price tag doesn’t have to prevent you from enjoying residential life. If you plan accordingly, you can manage your college costs by finding ways to save money, searching for scholarships, and applying for financial aid.
In part two of “College Housing Options”, we’ll take a look at the experience that comes with living off-campus. Until next time, feel free to explore all our other resources on stepuputah.com.
Katie is an Outreach Officer with UHEAA and StepUpUtah. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and Political Science from the University of Utah and previously worked as a tutor with the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) college preparatory program. You can follow her for professional advice about preparing and paying for college on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (@StepUpKatie).