Housing

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Whether you’re an incoming freshman, transfer or returning student, everyone has different financial requirements and preferences on style and social atmosphere. Regardless of the school you choose to attend, on-campus housing provides convenience and a true college experience. But what happens if you’re decision is between the University of Florida and Florida State University? Due to the fact that many students view housing as an important factor in determining what school to attend, we’ve done the research on each school’s on-campus housing facilities to make your decision-making process a bit easier.

UF has 24 on-campus residence halls, which can house up to 7,600 undergraduates. There are 18 residence halls on FSU’s campus, which can house up to 6,387 undergraduates.

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Rachelle Antoine, a 20-year-old family, youth and community science major, didn’t particularly like the UF campus when she first saw it.

“The dorms I saw on a tour looked like a jail cell,” she said. “So it truly did turn me off there, especially when other campuses were more modern looking.”

As she ends the fall semester of her junior year, she’s grown to love the campus.

“It is so beautiful to me now!” Antoine said.

She lived on campus for two years; she lived in Thomas Hall her freshman year and in Buckman Hall during her sophomore year.

“I loved it,” she said. “I was fortunate to have to amazing roommates both years, and I know that made all the difference. I loved the convenience of on-campus living.”

Toni-Rose Tamayo, a 21-year-old family and child sciences major, learned a lot about the advantages of living on FSU’s campus and shortcuts to class.

“I lived on campus for one year in Smith Hall,” she said. “Smith Hall was considered by most everyone I’ve talked to about Smith Hall as ‘the social hall.’ It was so tiny. But I had a great roommate my fall and spring semester, so it wasn’t a bad experience.”

Dorm styles, floor plans and rental rates differ between the two schools, but no housing facilities on both campuses exceed $3,500. At UF, the most expensive dorm is $3,450, and the cheapest is $1, 730.

FSU’s most expensive dorm is slightly more than UF’s at $3,500, and it’s cheapest is $2, 360. Students wanting learn more about rental rates should check each school’s website, as prices change for each semester.

For more information visit:

  • UF’s website on room rental rates:

http://www.housing.ufl.edu/undergrad/payments/rates/

  • FSU’s website on room rental rates:

http://www.housing.fsu.edu/Quicklinks/Residence-Hall-Rental-Rates

But the underlying factor in why most students choose to live on campus is its convenience.

“The ability to wake up at 9 a.m. or 9:15 a.m. for a 9:35 a.m. class was bliss,” Antoine said.

Tamayo believes she saved a lot of money compared to her friends, who lived off campus and drove a car.

“I got to experience late-night events on campus like going to one of the best movie theaters in a university (the Askew Student Life Center Theater is one of the best college campus theaters in the country) or being able to walk home or take the safe bus to and from the library,” she said.

While the advantages seem to outweigh the disadvantages, there’s one drawback that occurs at both UF and FSU. Each school has health code violations — the most common being asbestos exposure. If the asbestos isn’t removed, it can be hazardous to students’ health.

There’s no measurement of how safe or unsafe living on campus is compared to living off campus, but the “Crime” section of this website focuses on the crime statistics and occurrences in each school’s campus and surrounding areas.

Some people also view the convenience of on-campus dining halls and meal plans as a drawback. Antoine attributes her weight gain to her poor diet, lack of exercise and time management.

“The unlimited access to my meal plan my first semester didn’t help,” she said.

Both Tamayo and Antoine also saw the bathrooms in residence halls and lack of privacy as a downside.

“I had a community bathroom and that sucked,” Tamayo said.

Antoine also had a community-style bathroom.

“I really disliked sharing one bathroom with six plus girls, who were as messy as guys,” she said.

Looking past the disadvantages, (gaining the “freshman 15” not being one of them) there’s an advantage that both schools offer for living on campus: Living-Learning Communities.

Living-Learning Communities provide students with similar academic interests the chance to interact on a daily basis and build a relationship that would help them further their goals. The following chart lists the residence halls and LLC programs offered at each.

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Both Tamayo and Antoine believe that living on campus is part of the college experience.

“The advantages of on-campus housing is the social aspect and that the school would regulate safety and good conditions,” Tamayo said. “I’m glad I lived in a dorm at least once in my college life.”

Antoine took advantage of the free food and events that her residence halls hosted and enjoyed the company of her roommates and friends.

“The best part of on-campus living is all the silly and crazy things you do with your roommate,” she said. “Overall on-campus living is definitely worth it.”

Your dorm will be your home away from home. So whatever school you decide to attend, do your research and ask questions. But sometimes, the only way you’ll know which campus provides the best residence facilities is if you’ve lived in and experienced the dorm life yourself.

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