Maximum Capacity: What to do when on-campus housing is full

Casey Stavenhagen, Staff Writer

When preparing to go to college, the least of a student’s worries can be housing. However, for me and others, it can turn into an issue that decides if they can attend the college they desire. Personally, I applied to Texas A&M at College Station early so that I could be more likely to receive admission, and after I received my offer of admission, I had to wait several months to accept due to financial concerns. I later found out that waiting put me in a bad spot, since on-campus housing became full.

From here, I had to search for off campus housing which can be very difficult. Most larger campuses provide services to assist in this process (such as but the process can be very time consuming and difficult. Many factors come into play, and when money is tight, it is hard to account for all of them. Distance from campus, living conditions and amenities, price, and roommates all are difficult.

After weeks of non-stop searching and finally finding a place, the method I would recommend for other students is searching in order of priority. Everyone can make their own priorities, but the way I see them, cost should be prioritized, then distance from campus, then roommates, and lastly provided services and amenities. This method allowed me to find a two bedroom apartment less than a mile from campus for $370 a month per person.  I found this through the off-campus housing aid website at TAMU, but if those websites fail many Facebook groups and other services can be found easily through the web.

Once I finally found an apartment that met all my needs, I had to contact the current resident who would become my roommate. For contacting them, I took a more formal approach to seem like a good person to live with, but not so formal that my potential roommate would be weirded out. As long as precautions are taken, these interactions are the easiest part of finding a place to live. It is important to keep private information like a social security number or a credit card’s information personal, because housing scams occur often. In my situation, it took many calls to the office of the apartment manager and FaceTime conversations with the roomate to verify legitimacy.

As soon as I realized on-campus housing was full, I decided I needed to jump onto off-campus quickly before that too became full. Most lease dates start in the summer, either in June or July, so it is important to do everything as soon as possible. Finding housing can be scary and difficult, but with good time management and the right precautions it is very possible.