Students who have been out of high school less than two years are required to live on campus. This policy exists so new students have a supportive living environment, opportunities for meeting people, and assistance in adjusting to life at Illinois State University. Due to space limitations, students who have been out of high school for two or more years live off campus.
Students who fall under the on campus housing requirement who wish to live off-campus may submit an Application for Exemption to Housing Policy . Exemption information and forms can be found at University Housing Services.
Students who do not fall under the on campus housing requirement who would like to live on campus may submit a Request for Exception to Live On Campus application. Housing space is limited for non-required students so they should also investigate off-campus housing while waiting for a decision on their exception request.
The University owns and manages three student apartments: 209 N. Fell, 211 N. Fell and 302 N. School St. Information about University owned apartments can be found on the Housing website .
The cost of living off-campus varies dramatically. There is rent as low as $350 per person; this will typically be for more modest apartments and almost always be 4 bedrooms with as little as one bathroom. There is rent as high as $950 per person; this will typically be for luxury apartments that are 4 bedroom and 4+ bathrooms and fully furnished. The average rent is between $500 and $600 per person per month. All prices listed are always per person.
The amount is impacted by the number of amenities included with the apartment such as a private bathroom, furnishings, or utilities. In addition to rent, be sure to consider the cost of food, parking and transportation, and any utilities not included in your rent. Students are cautioned to only sign a lease for an apartment they can truly afford.
Cost of living off campus versus living on campus is relatively the same, but again, that amount can be impacted by the amenities. This link is a comparison of rates on and off campus.
Yes. Many students use their financial aid to pay for rent, utilities, groceries, or other living expenses. You should speak with Financial Aid to confirm the amount of financial aid you will be receiving as this may dictate the monthly rent you are able to afford.
There is no specific date a student must sign a lease by just as long as they have secured their off-campus housing by the time classes begin in the fall. Many students look to sign in October each year. That is an arbitrary date set by the leasing companies. Off-Campus Services encourages students not to be rushed by this date particularly if there is something that is uncertain e.g. study abroad, considering transferring, applying to be an RA etc. There is plenty of time and housing options available. It is better to make a smart decision later than make a hasty decision now that will result in problems later.
If a student is clear about exactly what he/she wants (e.g. the big white house on the corner of Broadway and Vernon, a 1 bedroom apartment) they may need to act more swiftly.
Students certain they want a 1 bedroom apartment may need to act more swiftly. There are less one bedrooms available than other apartments. One bedroom apartments usually cost more as well. Many of the newer apartments include private bedroom and private bathroom even if there is a shared kitchen and common room which can reduce concerns for having roommates and reduce costs.
Lease lengths are usually 10 month or 12 month. 10 month leases are usually August – May. Twelve month leases can start in May, June, July, or August. Students with a 12 month lease who do not plan to live in the apartment during the summer may sub-lease the apartment or just decide to leave vacant.
Lease lengths are usually 10 month or 12 month beginning in May, June, July or August. Students often sub-lease an apartment to or from another student. Students are encouraged to speak with staff from Off-Campus Services to discuss the details of the situation; they can make specific recommendations.
A student can sign a 10 or 12 month lease and then look for a sub-lease for the period they will be gone; this is riskier. If the student cannot find a sub-lease, they will be responsible for paying they rent even if they don’t live there.
The Off-Campus Housing Database has a place where students can look for a roommate. Some rental companies also offer roommate placement. Be aware that this may not be roommate matching where interests and lifestyles are taken into account.
There are a variety of companies managing off campus student housing from large companies with many properties to an individual renting a single house. Who you rent from will depend largely on what your needs are for your apartment. Proximity to campus, access to public transportation, cost, amenities, roommates, and security may all be factors to consider when selecting a place to live off campus. The Off-Campus Housing Database is the one-stop-shop for apartment searching. Off-Campus Services staff can help you get started with your search if you need assistance.
Staff from Off-Campus Services and Students’ Attorney can review a lease in about 45 minutes. We can review what everything means with the student and alert them to any areas of concern. It is very important to understand everything in a lease before signing it.