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Student Living: A Cost Breakdown

Off-Campus Living Vs. On-Campus Living

Often times, people shy away from the idea of living off-campus because they fear it will be too expensive when in reality on-campus living can be quite costly in comparison to off-campus living. For that reason, we have decided to breakdown the costs of apartment rentals compared to on-campus student living.

To start off, we found the move-in/move-out dates for a college dorm room at East Carolina University. The first day of move-in at East Carolina starts the week before classes begin in August and the students are required to move out within 24 hours of their last final in the spring. On top of this the dorms are closed from the commencement of the fall semester until a few days before the start of the spring semester. This means that you are really only residing in the dorm rooms for 8 out of the 12 months in a year. When you live in off-campus student living, you have access to your residence 12 months out of the year. Below, we have a breakdown of the different costs and possible expenses you may have if you are living on-campus vs living off-campus.

Costs of Student Living

The average cost of dorm room living at East Carolina is:

  • Residence Hall Price Per Year: $5,300 (average dorm room cost per year based on price levels of various on-campus residence halls)
  • Meal Plan Per Year: $3,800 meal plan (required for on-campus students)
  • Total: $9,100
  • Monthly Breakdown (8 months): $1,137.50


That is a steep price for monthly living costs that can easily be avoided by simply living off-campus! For the purposes of this blog, we will compare the on-campus pricing to a 2 bedroom, 1 ½ bath townhome at the Distract at Tar River. Our rent is based on a per unit basis meaning that the cost of a 2 bedroom is split if there are two people living in the unit.

Student living

Let The District Help You Move Off Campus

Off-Campus Costs:

  • Unit Price Per Month: $886/2 tenants = $443
  • Electric: $150 per month
  • Groceries: $390 per month (per the USDA)
  • Monthly Total: $983


This breakdown shows that you could save approximately $154 a month by moving off-campus, that’s almost $2,000 a year. Moving to apartments with amenities can not only save you money but enhance your standard of living. Give off campus student living a chance by contacting the District at Tar River today to find out how you can make us your new home!