Student 101: Your guide to finding an apartment in public college
It’s the most
amazing Terrible time of year: flats hunting season.
Finding an affordable apartment that suits your needs can be intimidating, especially if this is your first time braving State College real estate. Even if this isn’t your first time looking for an apartment, the task can seem daunting. You are not alone in this feeling, and we are here to help.
This may seem trivial but starting with Google is the place to start. Simply searching for “State College apartments” will provide dozens of options downtown and off campus.
Take a look at the search results and note a few things that look appealing. Be sure to write down the office’s contact information as well. Many apartments will allow you to schedule an apartment tour so you can walk through the model room.
Evaluate what is best for you
There are dozens of options at State College for student living. One vital question to ask is: “Do I want to live downtown or further away?”
There are pros and cons to both options, so decide what’s best for you and your schedule. If you’re worried about living too far from campus, the CATA bus system is a great and reliable value for students who commute daily, so don’t worry about how you’ll get to and from campus.
If you already have roommates you’d like to live with, be sure to discuss their criteria with them. You may find that your needs don’t quite align, and you may need to reevaluate.
Facebook is your friend
If you don’t have roommates yet, don’t worry. This may come as a surprise, but apartment groups on Facebook are one of the best ways to find apartments that are not widely known and find flatmates.
Whether you’re looking for a new roommate, a new apartment, or a sublease, you’re likely to have the best of luck in a Facebook group. Often times, you will be lucky and see pictures of the unit itself, giving you an inside look at the complexes you are interested in.
Here are a few to get you started:
This list is by no means exhaustive, but these groups go live on a weekly basis and are a great place to start.
Take a tour of the city centre
For freshmen who plan to live downtown next year, walking downtown is a great way to get to know the area and look at the apartment buildings to see what attracts you.
Take some friends downtown and walk around the apartments, noting which ones you find interesting. Some apartments will allow students to walk around a typical room without an appointment (this depends on the apartment).
Talk to upper class men
Sometimes the best way to learn about the State College apartment scene is to talk to a senior or a friend. Hearing other people’s advice about their experience is very helpful and will allow you to learn the ins and outs of downtown and off-campus apartment living so you can make an informed decision.
Before and after the lesson, try talking to the neighbors about the apartments you might be considering. Most will be willing to talk about their experience and recommendations for where to start.
you are not alone
Finding an apartment is not easy, but it is possible. Everyone on campus must go through the process of finding student housing during their time at Penn State. Whatever happens, you will find a place to live. It may not be your first choice, but you’ll probably have a bed at the end of the day.
Chat with others, do research, and tour apartments until you find one that meets all your needs.
Take a deep breath because you got this.