The Ultimate Guide to Renting Your First Apartment as a Student

by | Aug 30, 2023

You’ve decided to rent an apartment instead of living in the dorms. While there’s nothing more exciting than renting your first apartment, there are some vital steps to take to make the move less complex and stress-free. 

As a student, there’s no stronger sign of independence than renting your first apartment. However, it’s important to know what to expect beforehand to ensure you find the right living space. Here are some important tips on getting the perfect place.

Good Reasons for an Off-Campus Apartment

There are many reasons why a student will decide to get an apartment instead of living in the dorms. The most common reasons include: 

  • More affordable
  • Privacy
  • Live with anyone they want to such as non-students
  • Party anytime they want

As a student, be mindful of how far the potential apartment is from campus. Also, make sure there are excellent transportation options even if you have a car. 

Decide Your Budget

You need to have a budget before you begin your apartment search. Not only will it let you know how much you can afford every month, but it will help you decide if you should get a roommate and/or a part-time job. If you’re getting financial aid, you can use the reimbursement money to pay your rent. 

Make sure your budget includes all your monthly expenses including food (if you’re not on a school meal plan), utilities, transportation, personal care, prescriptions, and other essentials. 

Research Neighborhoods

When researching neighborhoods, factor in the distance not only from campus, but grocery stores, gas stations, hospitals, and the police station. Do your due diligence and thoroughly research every neighborhood of each potential apartment. While the rent might be cheap, you don’t want to reside in an area with a high crime rate. At times, you’ll have to come home late at night from class or studying. Your safety comes first.

If you’re coming in from another state to attend school, try to get temporary housing while searching for your apartment. This way, you can visit the neighborhoods in person. 

Alternative Ways to Having Your Own Place as a Student

If you are not too keen on having a roommate or roommates, there are other alternatives to having your own place (or space) as a student. 

Work Exchange 

There are some instances in which you can exchange work for free housing (room or apartment). 

Many apartment complexes near university campuses will hire a student to work as a live-in manager who will collect rent, resolve maintenance issues, and keep a watchful eye on the property in exchange for a free apartment.  

Additionally, some families will allow a student to get free room and board in exchange for childcare and working as a nanny. 

List of Apartments near the University of Minneapolis 

If you’re looking for a comprehensive list of student apartments in Minneapolis, near U of M, check out our website. We update it frequently to provide you with the latest information on what’s available regardless of your budget. If you find something that piques your interest, give us a call so we can set up a time for you to take a tour.