Review our list of advantages and disadvantages for an insider's view of housing on campus. Living on campus can be an incredibly beneficial and positive experience for students. Whether they participate in student activities, make friends in student residences or apartments, take advantage of programming, or don't worry about going to and from school, on-campus housing can eliminate a lot of stress and allow students to focus on their studies. However, there can also be disadvantages, such as lack of privacy and higher costs.
The residential experience is an essential component of education at Columbia. All first-year students are prohibited from living off campus (this includes FSL housing) at any time during their first year at Columbia, unless they are traveling from the home of their parents or guardians. First-year students who enter have guaranteed housing for up to four years depending on their guaranteed housing situation (for additional information, see Room Assignments and Room Transfers in the Housing Guide) and their admission status. It's also important to ensure that a property inspection has been done at the beginning and end of the rental agreement to ensure that students aren't charged for any pre-existing issues with the house.
Columbia Housing takes into account the needs of students who are in transition or who have other reasons to want alternative accommodations due to gender expression or identity-related needs. Accommodations are provided to students whose disabilities substantially limit their ability to live in Columbia's traditional living arrangements. First-year students are not eligible to live in Fraternity %26 Sorority Life (FSL) housing or special interest community housing (SIC). All first-year students stay in the Southfield section of the campus, the heart of university life in Columbia.
While most schools require students to live on campus during their first year, the decision to continue in university housing or move to private housing requires a great deal of reflection and weighing the pros and cons of each. While students may have gotten used to the housing offered on a semester by semester basis, off-campus housing typically requires a 12-month lease.