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What Are the Different Types of Campus Housing?

Amanda R. Bell
Amanda R. Bell

There are several different types of campus housing options for students attending an institute of higher learning. On-campus housing typically includes dormitories, which can include single, double, or suite-style rooms, as well as gender-specific housing. Many universities also offer specialty on-campus student housing for those who have unique interests. Some student housing is located outside of the actual school grounds. These may be set up in the same manner as dorm rooms or as apartments. Sorority and fraternity houses, known as studentenverbindungen in Germany and Nations in Finland and Sweden, provide housing for those in specific clubs, and may be located on- or off- campus.

Single dorms, which offer a room for each individual person, are relatively rare in college housing. The rooms are typically only given to older students or those who are working as a resident assistant for the dorm. The room typically has a bed, refrigerator and microwave, and space for a desk.

Off campus housing options may include renting a room in a private home.
Off campus housing options may include renting a room in a private home.

Double dorm rooms are one of the most common types of campus housing. In this scenario, two students share a room much like the single dorms, although the space is enough to accommodate two beds and two desks. In some cases, double rooms house three roommates and utilize one bunk bed and a single bed. These rooms may include a private bathroom, although it is more likely that all students on one floor of the dorm will share a bathroom area with multiple shower stalls and toilets.

Dorms typically feature a communal kitchen area.
Dorms typically feature a communal kitchen area.

For students who would like more of an apartment feel to their on-campus housing, suites are available at many campuses. These are typically two double dorms connected by a common room. In most cases, one bathroom is shared among four to six students. A small kitchenette or full kitchen may be included in the common area.

Gender-specific housing is a popular choice for first-year college students or those who attend private schools; they are also common in countries with strict social views on mingling between sexes. The entire dorm building is typically only for males or females, and oftentimes rules are enforced which disallow the opposite sex from being in the building after a certain time. Larger campuses often break down buildings by floors, making each level gender specific. This allows for privacy from different sex students while still allowing for socialization.

Specialty housing is often popular among students. Many universities offer dorms where the use of tobacco products or alcohol are prohibited, providing students with the opportunity to separate themselves from partying. In some cases, dormitories may be exclusive to those pursuing specific degrees. This can be especially helpful for those studying music, as the students in the campus housing tend to be more understanding of late-night practicing.

Campus housing may also be located outside of the university. These buildings may function in the same way as a dormitory, although they typically provide a more home-like atmosphere, and often include a full kitchen. This type of campus housing is also often used for families. Students with children or those who are married often choose to live off-campus.

Private groups and clubs, often referred to as fraternities and sororities, typically have a specific house meant for members. These may be located on- or off-campus, and are typically paid for by the group. In some cases, they tend to be larger than dormitories, although this is not always true.

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    • Off campus housing options may include renting a room in a private home.
      By: adpePhoto
      Off campus housing options may include renting a room in a private home.
    • Dorms typically feature a communal kitchen area.
      By: JackF
      Dorms typically feature a communal kitchen area.