By Catherine Brown —

As the University of Louisville reaches the second half of the spring semester, students are encouraged to look for housing for the 2020-2021 school year.

The decision to stay on campus is important as it can affect every aspect of a student’s college career. 

Although housing may seem insignificant on a large scale, where you stay during college can impact your experience. U of L offers several housing options for students to choose from.

Traditional dorms, suite-style halls and apartment buildings are located conveniently on campus, with additional affiliated properties around the Belknap campus. Students can also elect to join a Themed Community (TC) or a Living Learning Community (LLC) and be surrounded by people with similar interests or characteristics.

These communities are also important for students to consider when applying for housing. U of L will offer 12 LLC’s for the 2020-21 academic year and six TC’s. Students in these communities have the opportunity to interact with other students who share the same interests.

It’s important to note, however, that many of these communities require their students to take classes that involve them in the community. For example, the Sustainability LLC requires students to take SUST 101 & 102/301.

Choosing to live in an LLC or TC is significant as it means being required to live in the building that the community is housed in. For this reason, students should consider whether the LLC or TC offers amenities that best fit their needs or if it would be more convenient to live off-campus.

For many students, housing is an important part of their social life. 

“What I really like about housing,” said sophomore Elizabeth Parrish, “is how much effort they put into making the residence halls seem like a family.”

She also added that living on-campus allowed her to meet people she didn’t think she would otherwise. Parrish, a nursing major, likes that having housing on campus lets her meet other nursing majors as well as students outside of her major. 

Those living on campus have the advantage of attending special campus events during the day. For anyone commuting, it might be harder to attend on-campus events or sports games if a student needs to get home. 

One major difference between staying on-campus vs. off-campus is money. Students choosing to live on campus will be required to choose a meal plan which can cost $2,000+ for an academic year.

Students also have to pay room and board, costing them over $2,000 per semester, according to the U of L Housing website. With tuition rates, textbooks and extra student fees, even in-state students can expect to pay tens of thousands of dollars for their education at U of L.

Not all students can stay on campus during the school year.

For some students, U of L housing might be an inconvenience if they live in the surrounding area. Some students might also have a health condition that could be better accommodated at home, making it easier to stay off-campus.

This can shave thousands of dollars off of students’ overall payments.

With the spring semester going into its final weeks, this is the best time to think about housing for the next school year.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal