Pros and Cons of On-Campus, Off-Campus Living During Medical School

February 1, 2017


It goes without saying that medical school will prove one of the busiest, most challenging yet rewarding times of your life. Your studies will be intense and, to maximize your time and effort, you’ll need to be able to focus. That’s why choosing the right living arrangement for you will be crucial to your success.

While researching various schools and their courses, fees, financial aid options and other offerings, you’ll want to look into all the potential choices for your living quarters, both on-campus and off-campus.

Most colleges have dorms and an increasing number of them offer apartments. Both of these options mean you’ll live close to your classes, reducing commute times and perhaps even eliminating the need to drive to class altogether. Dorms will be the least expensive, but they mean you’ll have to share close quarters with at least one other student. Depending upon your roommates’ own personalities, habits and work ethics, it may or may not be a good fit, especially when your studies require intense focus.

On-campus apartments can be a great compromise between dorm life and living off-campus. They’re structured to allow each student his or her own bedroom, while sharing common spaces like dens, kitchens and bathrooms. Keep in mind, however, that on-campus apartments are pricier than dorms and you run the risk of a roommate who may not be a perfect fit.

For those with the financial wherewithal, off-campus apartments offer more privacy and control over choosing roommates, or not having roommates at all. Of course, off-campus apartments invariably are the most expensive option. Plus, you’ll need to factor in commute times as well as costs and running times of public transportation.

Food costs also are a factor, particularly if your courses run close together time-wise or require late nights in the classroom, laboratories, etc. Living on-campus means you’re in a better position to run home and whip up an inexpensive lunch. That may not be the case if your off-campus home is too far away for a quick jaunt home and back to class, so you’ll need to consider costs of eating out.

Some financial aid and college savings plans include allowances for living expenses. Some may require that you live on-campus while others will allow for off-campus living. Even in the latter case, know that if your chosen living arrangements cost more than the financial allowance, you’ll be responsible for the overage.

No matter where you study or live, you’ll want to make sure you’re thoroughly prepared for the rigors of medical school. WOLFPACC’s Pre Med Head Start course, COMLEX and USMLE preparation courses and tutoring will assure you’ve got the best chance at success in your medical studies and career. Call 904-209-3140 to speak with an enrollment specialist.