Even though the University of North Texas may require on-campus living for freshmen, finding residence after that first year isn’t difficult, thanks to plentiful and affordable options. However, not every student moves from campus after their first year, leaving students to consider different factors before deciding where to live for the next academic year.
“Staying on campus is not cheap,” Stephanie Samuel, a senior biology student at the University of North Texas said. “You don’t know exactly what you pay for.”
The residence halls at UNT are put into three different categories: Economy, standard, and newer. However, a meal plan is required for all freshmen residents. Only upperclassmen residents living in College Inn, Honors Hall, Legends Hall, Mozart Square, or Santa Fe Square can choose to have no meal plan. This drives the cost of living on campus even higher, and out of the range for some students, leaving them no choice but to move off-campus.
While students save money by moving somewhere off-campus, they also lose the convenience of being directly on campus. Meal plans are replaced with groceries, walking is replaced with driving, and parking is an issue that students at UNT know all too well.
“It’s like $300 for a parking pass,” Adam Jelic, an engineering major at the University of North Texas said. “I wasn’t going to have a car at maple, it would have been a waste of money.”
Students also transfer into UNT, and decide to move closer in from various parts of Dallas. These students are able to save money by attending community colleges, and skipping the process that freshmen students at UNT have to go through.
“It saves me a lot of money and gas,” Marsden King, a film major at the University of North Texas, said. “I don’t have to wake up and get ready earlier just to get to class.”
When it comes to driving, students at UNT have struggled with parking due to lack of space and an increase in cost of parking passes. Students often find parking at available spaces adjacent to campus, or free parking at apartment complexes near the campus to avoid paying for parking passes.
“Students will park at an apartment complex, and catch the bus from there, because they don’t want to pay for the parking pass that isn’t even usable because the lots get so full,” Deanna Franklin, a senior pathology major and the University of North Texas said. “People just park all along the streets near houses, too.”
Dorms on the UNT campus can cost anywhere from $4300 to $6400. Students who have meal plans can add another $1500 to $1800 to their annual bill, before classes even begin. However, managing finances at the beginning of the semester makes it easier for some students to handle the rest of the academic year.
“Ultimately, I think living in an apartment may be a tad cheaper, but you have to be more organized and smart with your money,” James Norman, a journalism major at the University of North Texas, said. “Even though, total, you’re spending the same, you’re paying it in portions with an apartment as opposed to paying it all in a dorm.”
Between on-campus dorms, and the sheer amount of apartment complexes surrounding the campus, students have a wide array of choices for housing. Balancing time, money, and personal preference, it’s up to students to figure out what they want to prioritize. Much like the rest of the college experience.