Leaving school to enter the world of student life can be filled with excitement and worry and there’s no doubt that a lot of people will have plenty of advice to give. Obviously many of these people will have been there and done that but remember – experience from one person is just an opinion. If one of your friends had a bad time on campus, it doesn’t mean you will.
Universities and the facilities in and around them vary greatly so it’s absolutely essential that you get in touch with the accommodation officer at the university to discuss your options. Even so, we’ve rounded up the biggest myths about student accommodation here, you might find you’ve already been told some of them!
1) You’ll definitely get a place in halls
Most universities try to guarantee a place in halls in the first year, but it’s often allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. If you went through clearing or you were late getting your application in, you might find you don’t get one.
2) Living in halls is always cheaper
Although to some it might seem obvious that the university-run accommodation will be cheaper, it’s not always the case. In some areas the proliferation of privately run accommodation will help to keep prices down and sometimes there are hidden costs in halls. For example, do you have to pay during the holidays? Have they recently paid for expensive upgrades, building repairs and security and then loaded the rents?
Never assume it will be the cheaper option. Although living your first year on campus can be exciting and you’ll no-doubt meet a lot of new people, sometimes a student flat just off campus can be cheaper and offer more freedom.
3) Students can’t get housing benefit
If you’re a student arriving from secondary education then it’s likely you won’t be able to get benefits, however if you’re studying part time, are a lone parent or have a disability then you may be able to get benefits. In fact, if you get benefits for any reason you may find you can claim for student housing too.
As always, check with the university’s housing office to check your choices and also check Facebook and Google. You won’t be the first person to be in this position and many people are willing to offer their help and advice to new students.