On-campus versus off-campus housing

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    Correction: An earlier version incorrectly stated the city’s policy on single-family building permits in the TCU area. The story has been corrected.

    TCU students have a lot to consider when choosing where to live. Experience, independence and cost of living are all important factors.

    Matthew Chase, apartment manager at Loft Vue Apartments, said there are many details to consider when leasing an apartment.

    “You need to look at what is included in your rent,” said Chase. “The only thing that’s not included here is electricity, because that is a utility that varies greatly from one complex to the next. Some complexes don’t include washer and dryer, parking, cable, Internet or water in rent. Sometimes there is even a sewage fee.”

    Chase said roommates are also an important consideration.

    “You have to decide if you’re going to do separate leases or all together, and what kind of deposits you put down,” said Chase. “If you’re on the same lease and one person doesn’t pay rent, they’re going to go after both of you. They can legally go after everybody that’s on that lease.”

    Tenants are usually bound by legal contracts to be financially responsible for 12 months of rent. Some complexes allow month to month contracts, others do not. Some complexes allow subleasing, others do not. Many complexes offer special reduced rates during promotions.

    In addition to rent, apartments and houses often require insurance and furnishing. Transportation costs and grocery costs also come with moving off campus.

    Dorms include additional costs as well, and prices will be going up.

    Director of Housing and Residence Life Craig Allen said across the board, dorm prices will likely increase by three percent next year.

    “If you look at Waits and Foster and Moncreif and Milton and Clark and Sherley, and those rates, as those buildings have been renovated they have typically averaged increases right around three percent, and that is what we anticipate for next year,” Allen said.

    Allen said Colby will be an exception.

    “Our rate increases have been pretty moderate.” Allen said. “If you look at what Colby was, versus what it will come back as, it will appear to be a much bigger jump, but that is because we’re doing a $19 million renovation.”

    In comparison to buying groceries at an apartment, a meal plan is required with many of the TCU on campus housing options. Only Tom Brown/Pete Wright, Sandage/McCart and the Grand Marc have kitchens.

    According to the TCU Fact Book for 2014, 48 percent of students live on campus.

    TCU requires first-year and sophomore students to live on campus, but many juniors and seniors were not able to live on campus this semester.

    “Unfortunately right now we do turn away a lot of juniors and seniors,” said Allen. “We don’t have the space to accommodate all who want to be here, so we’re going to keep building and growing.”

    Allen said availability will increase next year.

    “We’re going to bring Colby back online, with 320 or more beds,” Allen said. “We’ll lose Brachman, but our net increase will be 150 to 200 beds. So we’re continuing to grow.”

    TCU also plans to build a new Greek village to accommodate more students.

    Allen said there is more to consider when choosing housing than just price.

    “The first thing you’ve got to consider is the experience,” Allen said. “You have the rest of your life to live somewhere other than a college campus.”

    TCU sophomore special education major McKenna Slater said she chose to rent a house next year to accommodate the number of people she wanted to live with.

    “I just signed my lease for next year,” Slater said. “Its a duplex. We looked at Village East for a little bit, but it didn’t end up working out because there wasn’t a compatible room. We have five girls.”

    Slater said it is common for students to live in bigger groups.

    “I think most people want to live with as many people as they can, and it makes it kind of hard when you have to split up groups, and I know a lot of girls have to do that,” Slater said.

    The Fort Worth City Council has banned new single-family home building permits in the TCU area through the end of the year. 

    The map above shows the 2014-2015 cost for all of the on-campus housing options, as well as 15 of the closest apartment complexes and houses for rent.