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Students Make Housing Decisions At College
By Rhonda Whitmire
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When home sweet home is no longer under their parents' roof, college students choose either residence hall life or apartment living.
The proper housing choice, for some students, can mean a world of difference.
Many college campuses are experiencing a rise in applications for residence halls or dormitory rooms.
"I believe many students, especially in Mississippi, are choosing to live on campus," said Dr. Frances Graham, extension housing specialist at Mississippi State University. "Recent renovations and new facilities are making campus living a viable choice for them."
Edward Grandpre, director of student housing at MSU, said applications for campus housing are up about 8 percent from last year.
The University of Mississippi has experienced about a 3 percent increase in housing applications since last year.
"Southern has a waiting list of 808 students who want to live on campus," said Lorinda Krhut, director of residence life at the University of Southern Mississippi. "We do not have enough housing to accommodate the applicants."
Students choose to live on campus for a variety of reasons. The residence halls are within walking distance of classes, accessible to computer labs, and have a friendly atmosphere. Some halls may offer a quiet place to study.
Some students prefer living off campus in an apartment.
Apartment living offers benefits for students who want to gain a sense of independence and develop relationships outside the campus environment. If an individual has trouble coping with distractions or values a sense of space, that student should consider moving into an apartment.
"Apartment living gives students a chance to learn to resolve conflicts on their own and provides roommates an opportunity to develop new relationships with each other," Graham said.
"Most apartment complexes are designed to enable students to develop bonds with people with diverse interests," Graham said.
Consider certain aspects when looking for an apartment.
"The most important thing to consider is safety and security," Graham said. "This involves the hazards within the complex and the surrounding environment."
"Make sure the parking lot is well lit, the doors have strong locks, and if there is a common laundry room, make sure it is monitored," Krhut said. "There should be a high level of security and the resident manager should be trained for maintenance and medical emergencies."
Whether a student chooses the residence hall living or an apartment off campus, be sure to consider the environment and the safety.
"One of the most important things in making the housing decision is to look for a safe, secure environment where the student can develop good friends and strong study habits," Graham said.