Attending university is an admirable goal for many people, especially for those who are attending graduate school. Earning your bachelor’s degree is something to celebrate as it is, but continuing to graduate school is even better. However, there are also a set of challenges and considerations that must be made when attending graduate school. One such consideration would be housing. Where should a graduate student live? What are the housing options? And which housing options are the most popular with graduate students?

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Graduate school isn’t the same as your undergraduate career. You are older and can be balancing a job, your education, and your family/friends. Depending on your life, different living situations may be a better fit for this stage of your education. Continue reading to learn about some options, and why they can be the right or wrong fit for you. 

Living In A Co-Op

Co-op buildings are a great option for graduate students. They allow you to live as you normally would, in your own apartment and space. It is also affordable and offers a sense of community. Co-op buildings are usually discounted, but they do require you to contribute to the building in some other way. For many graduate students, this allows them to get the housing they need, while even making new friends and giving back to their community.


These buildings are also great should you have a family. Many co-ops have family apartments, allowing you to live with a partner and/or your children as well. This is also a great option should you need more space than a dorm, but don’t need the extra space or the extra cost of a full-sized home rental or something similar. Co-op living facilities are also usually placed near schools, or downtown, making transportation easy. Co-ops will most likely not be located close to the school, so keep that in mind when choosing it as living option. 


This housing option is good for the graduate student who wants to form connections with others, either in or outside of their educational program. It is a good option if you are in an expensive area, or are moving somewhere where you lack a community. On the other hand, if you are a private individual who doesn’t want to be around strangers constantly, this would not be the right living situation for you. 

Off-Campus Student Housing

If you’re looking for a space to live that’s somewhere in between a dorm and an average rental, off-campus student housing may be right for you. Whether you’re choosing the best Radford University off-campus student apartments or something similar, off-campus student housing provides a great option for nearly any grad student. This type of housing still has rules like any other student housing, but there are undoubtedly fewer rules than on-campus housing. This housing is larger and more luxurious, feeling more like standard luxury apartments. All in all, off-campus housing meets in the middle and offers more space, more freedom, and more luxury. Just keep in mind that these benefits also come with more responsibility as well.


This option can be loud because most likely you would be living with or around undergraduates. The benefit is usually these apartments are cheaper, due to it being marketed toward students. If you are looking for a vibrant social scene, this is a great option, and there will be multiple apartment amenities to use during your stay. 

With Family

While this is often everyone’s least favorite option, it’s still a viable option for many people. It’s not hard to understand just how expensive attending grad school can be, and for some students, paying extra for housing isn’t an option. If you’re lucky enough to have family nearby who are willing to let you live with them, you just may want to consider that as an option when trying to meet your housing needs as you attend school. This is especially true if you have other hefty bills and payments to make. While staying with family may be stressful, it also provides a sense of support and security, which can be helpful when dealing with years of hard coursework. Keep in mind that it’s polite to still offer your family some money for your room and board.


This option is only available if you have family near where you plan to attend graduate school. While it will cause you to have less choice, it will usually be quiet and reduce your costs. Housing is normally the highest costs behind tuition, and you can save a lot of money by staying with family members over renting an apartment

Rent A Room

If you’re single and looking for an affordable yet suitable space to live in, you just may wish to consider renting a room. Many college towns have rooms that are available for rent. These rooms are usually sufficient for simple living and often don’t offer too many extra bells or whistles. These rooms may be part of a bigger home, or they may be efficiency rooms, supplying a small kitchenette and a simple bathroom attached to a bedroom. Many of these rooms are like hotel rooms but provide long-term yet suitable housing for a single person.


Besides apartments, a lot of homeowners have extra space in their houses. If not, an extra unit they create on their property. The benefit of this situation is the monthly rent will be much lower. The downside is depending on the living situation, you will have less personal space. For a limited period of time, where you may not be making much money, this is a great money-saving option. 

Consider On-Campus

If you’re still at a loss for housing, consider asking your university if any dorms or on-campus options are available. These spaces are usually within a larger building, sometimes separated by gender, and sometimes co-ed. They usually are shared rooms, with basic accommodations, and shared bathrooms. However, for many graduate students, they prove to be sufficient, even if they don’t offer much in the way of privacy or luxury.


This option will depend on the size of your school’s housing. Most universities are so highly attended, that they can’t guarantee housing for anyone above undergraduate freshman. If your institution doesn’t have this issue, it could end up being the cheapest option for renting in the vicinity of your institution. 


Attending graduate school is exciting. You’ve already made it so far in your academic career and now you’re looking to take that next step. Finding housing is important, and there are plenty of options for graduate students to find the housing that they need. There is no one best option, but by reading this article hopefully, you can narrow down what works best, factoring in your needs and concern. This is only a place you will live for a few years, so make sure it suits your needs as a graduate student and is quiet or loud as you are interested in. 


Consider on-campus housing, but also co-op living, off-campus student rooms, and apartments, living with family, or something else. When searching for housing you’ll also want to consider your budget. Graduate school is already hard enough; you don’t need to make it harder by struggling to afford your housing.          



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