On-campus and off-campus living is a choice that upperclassmen can get to experience, but it all results in what better suits students’ needs.
Director for Ancillary Services Jennifer Garvin said there are many choices for on-campus living for upperclassmen.
“Upperclassmen who choose to live on-campus can live in any of the residence halls,” Garvin said.
She said some residence halls, such as East Halls and half of Pollock Halls are designated for first-year students only, but other than that, there is no limit to wear upperclassmen can live.
Students also choose to live on-campus because of having the option of a full meal plan, making it easier to grab a bite to eat at any one of the dining commons around campus.
Living on campus also means being closer to classes, without having to take the buses, which can sometimes be very crowded throughout the day.
Getting an off-campus apartment or house is another option for upperclassmen, with some benefits that can fill the needs of older students.
Assistant Director of Off-Campus Housing Loretta Doss said the quality of off-campus housing is important to making sure students who move on from dorm life are successful.
“Living off-campus means that there are more responsibilities to a student, whether that be rent, utilities and what is and is not included in the apartment,” Doss said.
She said there are over 28,000 students who choose to live off-campus, and Penn State’s office of off-campus living wants to make sure that those students do well and are able to ask questions about the resources available.
“The success of an off-campus housing experience for a student can depend on communications with a landlord or property owner,” she said.
Doss also emphasized that moving off-campus can be a scary experience, but it can help students learn obligations of living on one’s own.
Off-campus residents also get to experience downtown living, closer to many restaurants and shopping, while also living within the State College community alongside many of the local residents.
There is also an Off-Campus Student Union, a student organization that represents students and helps with concerns of those living off-campus.
Josh Horton, Interfraternity/Panhellenic Dance Marathon Chair of the Off-Campus Student Union, said it is valuable for students to live off-campus while in college.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea for students to stay on-campus all four years,” Horton (junior-secondary English education) said. “It gives students a good idea of how to prepare for living after college so they won’t be shocked.”
Aside from living right in downtown State College, students may also find apartments and houses in the greater State College area, which would require a car or bus trips to and from campus, but could have greater access to many more stores in those areas.